U.S. equities tumbled today as a steep sell off in gold and other commodities spooked Wall Street. Sparking today’s volatile session were several disappointing reports on the home front and from China. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that its business-conditions index declined more than expected, while a separate report showed home builders’ confidence falling for the third straight month. In China, economic growth in the first quarter came in at 7.7%; analysts were expecting GDP growth to be 8%. Also adding to today’s jitters was news of explosions at the site of the Boston Marathon [see Free Member Report: How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
Following today’s disappointing economic reports and the sell off in gold, all three major U.S. equity indexes tumbled into negative territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A) fell 1.76%, as its underlying index tumbled 265.86 points. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) slumped 2.32%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, B+) plummeted 2.04%.
In Europe, markets were mostly lower; the Stoxx Europe 600 slipped 0.7%. Meanwhile, Asian markets slumped on disappointing Chinese data; Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average shed 1.6%, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.1%.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasury prices were higher today following news of explosions at the Boston Marathon and disappointing economic reports from the U.S. and China. Yields on 10-year notes fell 4 basis points, while yields on 30-year bonds and 5-year notes fell 5 and 1 basis points, respectively [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Commodities plummeted across the board today, with gold tumbling more than 9% to log in its biggest drop in 30 years.; gold futures for April delivery fell $140,40 to $1360.60 an ounce. Silver also so big declines, with prices dropping 11%. Crude oil futures also fell, slumping 2.8% to $88.71 a barrel.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (GLD)
The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD, A-) was one of the worst performers today, shedding a dismal 8.78% during the session. As gold prices settled at its lowest since February of 2011, this ETF gapped significantly lower at the open. GLD traded lower throughout the day, eventually settling at $131.31 a share [see GLD-Free Gold Bug ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (VXX)
The S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX, A-) was one of the best performers today, gaining 11.83% during the session. As the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) surged more than 40% to finish above 17, this ETF rallied during the final hours of trading. VXX eventually settled at $20.52 a share [see Low Volatility Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing retirement strategy over the trailing 1-week period has been the 30 Years Til Retirement Portfolio, which has gained 1.90%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.