Despite a relatively choppy trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average managed to post yet another historic close and logged in the first 9-day win streak since November of 1996. Fueling equities was a better-than-expected report on U.S. retail sales, which jumped 1.1% in February. Retail Sales excluding autos also came in slightly higher than projected. In other economic news, February import prices and business inventories rose more than expected [see Free Member Report: How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
Following a better-than-expected report on retail sales, all three major U.S. equity indexes managed to eke out a small gain to close in positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A) inched 0.04% higher, as its underlying index logged another all time close at 14,455.28. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) rose 0.14%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, B+) slipped 0.13%, though its underlying index settled 0.09% higher.
In Europe, markets were mostly lower after euro zone’s industrial production fell more than expected in January. Meanwhile, Asian markets were broadly lower on concerns of the Chinese government imposing curbs on property prices. China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.0%, while Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average slipped 0.6%.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasuries gained back some of their earlier losses after the Treasury Department auctioned $21 billion in 10-year notes at 2.029%. Yields on 5 and 10-year notes as well as 30-year bonds rose 1 basis point [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Crude oil futures logged a loss on the day, as the dollar strengthened on better-than-expected retail sales. Meanwhile, gold futures fell on the strong U.S. data, which boosted optimism that the economy is well on its way to recovery. Prices for silver and platinum were also lower.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (XRT)
The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT, A) was one of the best performers today, gaining 1.33% during the session. Following the better-than-expected U.S. retail sales report, this popular ETF gapped higher at the open. XRT pushed higher throughout the day, eventually settling at $70.19 a share [see Consumer Centric ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (EWI)
The MSCI Italy Index Fund (EWI, C) was one of the worst performers today, shedding 1.44% during the session. After an auction of Italian bonds failed to reach its high end target, this ETF gapped significantly lower at the open. EWI slid sideways for the remainder of the day, eventually settling at $12.35 a share [see Euro Free Europe 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 1.44%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.