Following a long holiday weekend, U.S. equities started off the week on a positive note, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average finishing higher for the 20th straight Tuesday and posting yet another record high. Boosting stocks was an encouraging housing report; the S&P Case-Shiller 20-City home-price index rose 10.39% for March, compared to the expected 10.3% rise. In other economic news, the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index for May also topped analysts’ expectations, jumping to a five-year high of 76.2; the metric was expected to come in at 72 [see The Cheapest ETF for Every Investment Objective].
Buoyed by two upbeat economic reports, all three major U.S. equity indexes rallied to close in positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A-) rose 0.70%, after its underlying index was up 218 points at session high. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) gained 0.60%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, B+) rose 0.68%.
In Europe, markets were higher after ECB official Joerg Asmussen commented that the central bank will keep its aggressive monetary policy in place as long as necessary; the Stoxx Europe 600 rallied 1.6%. Meanwhile, Asian markets were also higher: Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rallied 1.2%, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index jumped 1.2%.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasury prices fell today as investors consider the possibility of the Fed scaling back its bond-buying program. Yields on 10-year notes jumped 16 basis points to their highest level in 13 months, while 30-year bond and 5-year note yields rose 16 and 12 basis points, respectively [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Crude oil futures were slightly higher today, settling above $95 a barrel, after U.S. housing data and consumer confidence came in better than expected. In other energy news, natural gas traded lower, while gasoline prices were higher. Meanwhile, gold ended lower on a stronger dollar.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (KBE)
The SPDR S&P Bank ETF (KBE, A) was one of the best performers today, gaining 1.18% during the session. Banks were among today’s top performers, allowing this ETF to gap significantly higher at the open. KBE slid sideways for the remainder of the day, eventually settling at $28.37 a share [see Financials Free ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (UST)
The Ultra 7-10 Year Treasury Fund (UST, A) was one of the worst performers today, shedding 2.32% during the session. As 10-year treasury note yields rose to a 13 month high, this ETF gapped significantly lower at the open. UST inched lower throughout the day, eventually settling at $54.81 a share [see 10 Years Til Retirement Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing themed strategy year-to-date has been the Baby Boomers ETFdb Portfolio, which has gained 18.87%.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.