After yesterday’s pullback, investors welcomed several better-than-expected earnings reports, which helped outweigh sluggish economic data. Oil giant Valero (VLO) topped analysts expectations in their fourth quarter earnings report, posting profits that came in well above estimates. Pharma behemoth Pfizer (PFE) also reported solid earnings, with profits per share coming in at 47 cents. In economic news, the Conference Board’s consumer-confidence index came in lower-than-expected in January, while the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose for November. Despite today’s reports, investors still kept their focus on tomorrow’s Federal Reserve policy announcement [Be sure to check out the real estate news, trends, tips and tricks over at Dividend.com].
As investors digested the latest slew of earnings and economic data, only two major U.S. equity indexes closed in positive territory. Led by big gains in Pfizer, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A-) logged in a 0.42% gain, as its underlying index climbed to its highest close since October of 2007. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) rose 0.39%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, B+) eked out a 0.01% gain (though its underlying index closed down 0.02%). In Europe, markets were mostly higher amid better-than-expected German confidence reports. Asian equities were also higher, led by strong performances in Japanese banking stocks: Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.4%.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasury prices fell today after a government 5-year note auction failed to impress bond traders. Today’s reports concerning home prices and weaker consumer confidence also weighed heavily on the safe haven asset class [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Following today’s positive U.S. housing data, crude oil futures rose as investor regained confidence that economic growth and fuel demand are on the rise. Meanwhile, gold snapped its four-day losing streak as traders prepared themselves for tomorrow’s Federal Reserve policy meeting. Silver and platinum futures also rebounded.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (PPH)
The Market Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF (PPH, B+) was one of the best performers today, gaining 1.04% during the session. Following today’s better-than-expected earnings reports from Pfizer (PFE) and Eli Lilly (LLY), this ETF gapped significantly higher at the open. PPH rose higher throughout the day, eventually settling near its high of $42.68 a share [see Baby Boomers ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (IEO)
The Dow Jones U.S. Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Index Fund (IEO, B+) also posted a solid performance today, gaining 2.65% during the session. After Valero’s (VLO) impressive earnings report, this ETF gapped significantly higher at the open alongside a rally in energy shares. IEO pushed higher throughout the day, eventually settling at $69.75 a share [see Energy Bull ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing themed strategy over the trailing one-year period has been the 2013 ETFdb Portfolio, which has gained over 21%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.