Bullish momentum continued today on Wall Street, pushing the Dow within less than 100 points of an all-time closing high. Fueling the rally were a number of upbeat economic reports and further commentary from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. In his second day of testimony, Bernanke stated that unemployment wont reach 6% until 2016, giving further support for the Fed’s current policies, and cautioned Congress about the impacts the looming spending cuts will have. In other economic news, U.S. durable goods orders dropped less than expected, while pending home sales topped analysts expectations, rising 4.5% in January [Be sure to check out the real estate news, trends, tips and tricks over at Dividend.com].
Continuing yesterday’s rally, all three major U.S. equity indexes soared to close in positive territory today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, B) logged in a 1.31% gain, as its underlying index rallied to less than a 100 points away from its record high. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) gained 1.26%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, A-) rose 1.02%.
In Europe, equities rebounded after Italy sold more $8.49 billion, the maximum targeted amount, of government bonds. Asian equities, however, were broadly lower with Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average shedding 1.3% on a stronger yen.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasuries prices slid once again today as Fed Chairman Bernanke finished his second day of testimony before Congress. Yields on 30-year bonds and 10-year notes rose 2 basis points, while five-year note yields were 0.780% [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
U.S. oil futures rose slightly today after the Energy Information Administration reported that inventories of crude oil in the U.S. rose by 1.1 million barrels, a smaller-than-expected rise. Brent crude prices, however, fell to a four-week low on demand concerns. Erasing nearly all of yesterday’s gains, gold futures slumped as investors digested Bernanke’s commentary.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (XLI)
The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI, A+) was one of the best performers today, gaining 1.89% during the session. As industrial and material stocks led the day’s gains, this ETF soared during the first two hours of trading. XLI pushed higher throughout the day, eventually settling at $41.00 a share [see Consumer Centric ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (KBE)
The SPDR S&P Bank ETF (KBE, A-) also posted a solid performance today, gaining 1.33% during the session. Financial shares pushed higher today after Italy’s bond auction garnered solid demand, forcing this ETF to jump higher at the open. KBE pushed higher for the majority of the day, eventually settling at $25.91 a share [see Risk On ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing retirement strategy over the trailing 3-year period has been the 30 Years Til Retirement Portfolio, which has gained 41.04%.
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