Wall Street seemingly took a breather today, with stocks reversing their earlier gains in the last minutes of trading to close lower. The Dow rallied earlier in the day, reaching just 20 points shy of its all-time closing high; the rally, however, was short-lived as anemic trading volumes and lack of momentum led blue chips lower. In economic news, a second reading of fourth quarter GDP was revised into positive territory, while initial jobless claims dropped to 344,000 last week. In a separate report, the Institute for Supply management’s Chicago-area purchasing managers’ index came in surprisingly higher for February [Be sure to check out the real estate news, trends, tips and tricks over at Dividend.com].
After reversing earlier gains, all three major U.S. equity indexes slipped to close in negative territory today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A) logged in a 0.23% loss, as its underlying index rallied to less than 20 points away from its record high earlier in the session. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) slipped 0.20%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, B+) fell 0.21%.
In Europe, equities were higher once again as concerns over Italy’s politics continued to fade and the ECB reaffirmed its commitment to their current stimulus policy. Asian markets were also higher on the back of Wednesday’s rally in the U.S. and Europe; Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average jumped 2.47%, while China’s Shanghai Composite rallied 2.3%.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasuries traded slightly higher, as concerns over the bond rally unwinding seemed to fade. Yields on 10-year notes and 30-year bonds fell 1 basis point [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
After the Commerce Department raised its estimate of forth quarter GDP, oil futures declined on a stronger dollar. Also, tracking front-month contracts, crude prices logged their first monthly loss in four. Meanwhile, gold logged in its longest run of monthly declines in more than 16 years.
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 3.01% during the session. As bullish momentum cooled off, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) ended above 15, forcing this ETF jump during the morning hours. VXX slid sideways during the afternoon hours, but rallied nearer to the close, eventually settling at $23.97 a share [see Low Volatility Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (GLDX)
The Gold Explorers (GLDX, B-) was one of the worst performers today, shedding 3.16% during the session. As gold prices fell and bullish momentum cooled off, this ETF gapped slightly lower at the open. GLDX traded lower throughout the day, eventually settling at $5.21 a share [see GLD-Free Gold Bug ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing regional strategy over the trailing 1-year period has been the Global Titans ETFdb Portfolio, which has gained 9.95%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.