Despite a relatively good start to the month, U.S. equities slid into red territory during today’s volatile and thin trading session. Though jitters over Friday’s key labor report and a spike in crude prices pushed stocks lower, investors did welcome a pair of upbeat economic reports. According to the Commerce Department, factory orders increased 2.1% in May, rising for the second consecutive month. U.S. auto sales also beat analysts’ expectations, coming in at highest June level in more than five years. Continuing turmoil in Egypt, however, trumped the better-than-expected reports [see The Cheapest ETF for Every Investment Objective].
Despite today’s encouraging economic reprots, all three major U.S. equity indexes fell to close in negative territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A-) slipped 0.33% after its underlying index fell below the psychologically-important 15,000 level. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) shed 0.09%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, B+) rose 0.07% (though its underlying index closed down 0.03%).
In Europe, markets were broadly lower ahead of ECB policy announcements slated for later this week; the Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.4%. Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average jumped 1.8%, while China’s Shanghai Composite inched 0.6% higher.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasuries traded slightly higher today ahead of Friday’s key labor report. Yields on 10-year notes fell 0.5 basis points, while 30-year bonds and 5-year note yields fell 1 and 0.5 basis points, respectively [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Crude oil futures rallied to settle above $99 a barrel, the highest level in more than a year, as escalating turmoil in Egypt and Syria weighed heavily on the commodity. In other energy trading, gasoline and natural gas futures were also higher. Meanwhile, gold futures traded lower to settle at $1,243.40 an ounce on a stronger dollar.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (EGPT)
The Egypt Index ETF (EGPT, C) was one of the best performers today, gaining 5.80% during the session. As news of escalating political turmoil in Egypt hit the streets, this ETF gapped significantly higher at the open. EGPT inched slightly higher throughout the day, eventually settling at $40.31 a share [see Africa-Centric Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (XLI)
The Industrial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLI, A) was one of the worst performers today, shedding 1.07% during the session. Industrial shares were among today’s biggest laggards, forcing this ETF to tumble during the final hours of trading. XLI eventually settled at $42.61 a share [see Kitchen Sink ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing regional strategy over the trailing 3-year period has been the Ex-Europe ETFdb Portfolio, which has gained 31.91%.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.