Better-than-expected labor data once again bolstered equity markets, pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average to yet another high; blue-chips ended the historic week to close at 14,397.07. The Labor Department reported that U.S. employers added 236,000 jobs last month, bucking analysts’ expectations of a 160,000 uptick. The unemployment rate also came in surprisingly better, falling to 7.7%, the lowest level since the end of 2008. In a separate report, U.S. wholesale businesses’ inventories jumped more than expected in January [see Free Member Report: How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
Following today’s better-than-expected labor reports, all three major U.S. equity indexes rallied to close in positive territory today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A-) logged in a 0.45% gain, as its underlying index rallied to close at a record high of 14,397.07. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) rose 0.42%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, B+) gained 0.12%.
In Europe, equities were slightly higher, with the Stoxx Europe 600 gaining 0.8% to a nearly five-year high. Meanwhile, Asian markets were mostly higher after China posted a sharply higher trade surplus in February; however, China’s Shanghai Composite slipped 0.2% as investors remained cautious ahead of weekend data on industrial production, inflation and retail sales. Japanese stocks rallied on a weaker yen and a report showing GDP growing 0.2% in the fourth quarter; the Nikkei Stock Average jumped 2.6%.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasury prices continued their downward trend today on upbeat labor data, pushing yields on 10-year notes to the highest levels in nearly a year. Yields on 10-year notes rose 4 basis points, while yields on 30-year bonds rose 3 basis points [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Today’s positive labor market and China trade reports helped push the dollar higher, while also boosting the global oil demand outlook; crude oil futures climbed near $92 a barrel, posting a weekly gain of 1%. Gasoline and natural gas futures also rallied. Meanwhile, gold futures remained mostly flat on encouraging economic data.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (XLY)
The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLY, A) was one of the best performers today, gaining 1.06% during the session. Consumer discretionary shares were today’s biggest gainers, allowing this ETF gap significantly higher at the open. XLY pushed higher throughout the day, eventually settling at $52.62 a share [see Consumer Centric ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (YCS)
The UltraShort Yen Fund (YCS, A) also posted a solid performance today, gaining 2.38% during the session. As the yen continued its downward trend, this leveraged currency ETF gapped significantly higher at the open. YCS traded sideways for the remainder of the day, eventually settling at $61.53 a share [see Asia-Centric ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing themed strategy over the trailing 1-week period has been the Baby Boomers ETFdb Portfolio, which has gained 2.15%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.