Wall Street cheered as the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged to its highest close ever, rallying 0.89% to 14253.77, 126 points higher than the old record set in 2007. Many cite the market’s four-year climb off its 2009 lows, as well as today’s record closing, to the Federal Reserve’s aggressive and unprecedented monetary stimulus measures, which have helped push equities higher by driving down yields in safe-haven assets. Also bolstering today’s rally in equities was a better-than-expected reading on non-manufacturing activity from the Institute for Supply Management, which reported that the services sector expanded last month; the index climbed 56% in February from 55.2% the month before [see Free Member Report: How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
Following today’s better-than-expected ISM non-manufacturing report, all three major U.S. equity indexes rallied to close in positive territory today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A-) logged in a 0.88% gain, as its underlying index rallied to close at a record high of 14253.77. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) rose 0.89%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, B+) jumped 1.48%.
In Europe, equities were mostly higher after the euro zone retail sales rose more than expected; the Stoxx Europe 600 rallied 1.8% to its highest close since 2008. Asian markets were also higher after Departing Premier Wen Jiabao announced an economic growth target for the National People’s Congress of 7.5% for 2013. China’s Shanghai Composite rallied 2.3%.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasury prices fell today after ISM non-manufacturing data was released, pushing 10-year note yields to their biggest two-day gain in nearly a month. Yields on 5 and 10-year notes rose 1 basis point, 30-year bond yields rose 2 basis points [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
On a weaker dollar, crude oil futures settled higher today for the first time in four sessions, bolstered by upbeat euro zone and U.S. economic data. Meanwhile, gold traded flat today as investors moved away from the safe haven towards riskier assets. Prices for silver, platinum and copper were slightly higher.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (TECL)
The Daily Technology Bull 3x Shares (TECL, B+) was one of the best performers today, gaining 4.29% during the session. Technology shares were among today’s top performers, forcing this leveraged ETF to gap significantly higher at the open. TECL inched slightly higher during the morning hours only to slide sideways at the end of the day, eventually settling at $54.49 a share [see High Tech ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (PALL)
The Physical Palladium Shares (PALL, A) also posted a solid performance today, gaining 2.77% during the session. Though gold futures were flat, other precious metals like palladium traded higher today, forcing this ETF to gap significantly higher at the open. Though trading volumes remained thin, PALL inched higher throughout the day, eventually settling at $72.30 a share [see Commodity Guru ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing retirement strategy over the trailing 4-week period has been the Low Volatility Portfolio, which has gained 1.64%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.