Most U.S. equities ended narrowly mixed today, though technology stocks charged higher, as investors digested a mixed bag of earnings and economic reports. The Conference Board reported its consumer-confidence index falling to 80.3 in July, slightly below analyst expectations of 81.5. Meanwhile, the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City home-price index rose 12.2% in May on the year versus the 12.4% uptick analysts were expecting. In corporate news, pharma giant Pfizer (PFE) reported better than expected earnings, though revenues came in just below forecasts. And though Merck (MRK) beat earnings estimates, the company posted a significant decline in earnings and revenues from year-earlier levels [see also The Complete Visual History Of SPY].
Global Market Overview: MOO Tumbles After Russian Potash Producer Cuts Ties With Belarus, VOX Slumps
Following today’s mixed earnings and economic reports, only two major U.S. equity indexes managed to close in positive territory. The tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, A-) rose 0.48%, as its underlying index logged in its highest close in nearly 12 years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A-) fell 0.01%, while the S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) finished flat on the day (though its underlying index closed 0.04% higher).
In Europe, markets were slightly higher after German consumer-sentiment was reported at a six-year high; the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.1%. Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rebounded 1.5% on a weaker yen, and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.7%, snapping a four-day losing streak.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasuries edged slightly higher today ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting committee statement due on Wednesday. Yields on 10-year notes and 30-year bonds fell 0.5 basis points, while 5-year note yields rose slightly to 1.388% [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Crude oil futures traded lower once again today, settling below $104 a barrel, as growing demand concerns in China and a worse-than-expected consumer confidence reading put pressure on the commodity. In other energy trading, natural gas futures slipped 4 cents, while gasoline ended up less than a cent. Meanwhile, gold futures fell 0.3% to settle at $1,324.00 a troy ounce.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (MOO)
The Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF (MOO, A) was one of the worst performers today, shedding 4.09% during the session. After Russian potash Producer Urakali pulled out of its sales partnership with Belarus, this ETF gapped significantly lower at the open. MOO eventually settled at $50.21 a share [see Futures Free Commodity ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (VOX)
The Telecommunication Services ETF (VOX, A+) also posted a weak performance, shedding 0.87% during the session. Telecom shares were among today’s biggest laggards, forcing this ETF to drop after initially gapping higher at the open. VOX fell lower during the afternoon hours, eventually settling at $82.77 a share [see High Tech ETFdb 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 22.78%.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.