U.S. equities traded higher today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 logging in fresh highs, following a batch of better-than-expected economic reports and Bernanke’s second day of testimony. According to the Labor Department, initial claims for jobless benefits fell by 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 334,000, the lowest level in four months. Business activity in the mid-Atlantic region rose to its highest level since March of 2011. In a separate report, leading indicators came in flat at 95.3 in June, hovering near a five-year high. On the earnings front, Morgan Stanley (MS) exceeded earnings and revenue forecasts, pushing the stock 4.37% higher during the session [see The Cheapest ETF for Every Investment Objective].
Following today’s upbeat economic reports, all three major U.S. equity indexes managed to close in positive territory. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) traded 0.55% higher, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A) rose 0.58% – both indexes climbed above their previous record highs. The tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, B+) slipped 0.21%, thought its underlying index finished up 0.04% on the day.
In Europe, markets were broadly higher after the European Central Bank said it would loosen collateral rules to boost credit for small businesses; the Stoxx Europe 600 gained 0.9%. Meanwhile, China’s Shanghai Composite shed 1.1%, and Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 1.3% after the dollar rose against the yen.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasuries fell today following a batch of upbeat economic reports. Yields on 10-year notes rose 4.5 basis points, while 30-year bonds and 5-year note yields rose 5 and 2 basis points, respectively [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Crude oil futures rallied today, settling above $108 a barrel, the highest for a most-active contract in over a year. In other energy trading, gasoline futures ended flat while natural gas tacked on 18 cents. Meanwhile, gold futures traded higher, settling at $1,284.60 an ounce.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (KBE)
The SPDR S&P Bank ETF (KBE, A) was one of the best performers today, gaining 2.09% during the session. After Morgan Stanley (MS) exceeded earnings and revenue forecasts, this ETF surged during the morning hours. FDN eventually settled at $30.80 a share [see Financials Free ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (XLE)
The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE, A) also posted a strong performance today, gaining 1.06% during the session. As crude surged above $108 a barrel, this ETF gapped significantly higher at the open. XLE eventually settled at $85.57 a share [see Energy Bull ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing regional strategy over the trailing 1-week period has been the Euro Free Europe Portfolio, which has gained 3.10%.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.