Wall Street finally took a breather today, as mixed economic reports had investors curbing recent bullish momentum. The National Federation of Independent Business reported that its small-business optimism index topped analysts expectations for the month of February; however, the reading also showed that more business owners were reporting declining sales. In the U.K., manufacturing output fell 1.5%, while Germany’s Economy Ministry said the economy was closer to recovery. China’s central bank also made headlines today, after it signaled that it would implement more monetary tightening [see Free Member Report: How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
Following a batch of mixed economic reports, major U.S. equity indexes ended narrowly mixed on the day, with only the Dow managing to eke out a small gain. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) fell 0.22%, as its underlying index snapped its 7-day winning streak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A) inched 0.03% higher, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, B+) slipped 0.36%.
In Europe, markets were slightly higher after U.K.’s disappointing manufacturing report was offset by an upbeat outlook for Germany’s economy. Meanwhile, Asian markets were broadly lower after China’s central bank indicated that it would drain more cash from the system. China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.0%, while Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average slipped 0.3%.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasuries broke their 6-day loosing streak after the Treasury Department sold $32 billion in 3-year notes at 0.411%, setting a optimistic tone for the upcoming 10-year and 30-year debt auctions. Yields on 10-year notes and 30-year bonds fell 4 basis points, while yields on 5-year notes slipped 2 basis points [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Crude oil futures logged in their fourth-session win, as traders remained upbeat about the outlook for energy demand in the U.S and after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries left its world oil-demand growth forecast unchanged. Meanwhile, gold futures climbed toward $1,600 after a top ECB official announced that the euro zone crisis was not over.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (FXP)
The Ultrashort FTSE/Xinhua China Fund (FXP, B-) was one of the best performers today, gaining 3.47% during the session. Following a slew of disappointing Chinese data and today’s central bank commentary, this leveraged bear ETF gapped higher at the open. FXP inched higher throughout the day, eventually settling at $19.40 a share [see Easy-As-ABC ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (GDXJ)
The Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ, B+) also posted a solid performance today, gaining 3.68% during the session. Alongside a small rally in gold futures, this ETF gapped significantly higher at the open. GDXJ pushed higher throughout the day, eventually settling at $16.89 a share [see Mining Boom ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing retirement strategy over the trailing 1-week period has been the Aggressive Portfolio, which has gained 1.85%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.