Bullish momentum reemerged on Wall Street today, with stocks finishing higher for the second consecutive session. Meanwhile, the first quarter earnings season kicked off with Alcoa, who posted a 59% rise in profits on one-time benefits and cost-reduction efforts. The aluminum giant did however note that revenue suffered from lower aluminum prices due to a massive supply glut. Overall, analysts have somewhat low expectations for this quarter’s earnings season, which has some investors thinking companies will once again beat expectations [see Free Member Report: How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
As bullish momentum returned, all three major U.S. equity indexes managed to close in positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A) gained 0.38%, after its underlying index rallied to hit a fresh all-time high at 14,716.46. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) rose 0.35%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, A-) gained 0.67%.
In Europe, markets were slightly higher after a report showed U.K. industrial production for February rose more than expected; the Stoxx Europe 600 inched 0.1% higher. Meanwhile, Asian markets were mixed; Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average slid 0.1%, snapping a four-session win streak, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index inched 0.6% higher.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasury prices were little changed today ahead of the FOMC minutes scheduled for release on Wednesday. Yields on 10-year notes were 1.75% and on 5-year notes 0.697%, while yields on 30-year bonds rose 2 basis points [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Crude oil futures traded higher today, topping $94 a barrel, as conflicts in Iran stirred up concerns over oil supplies. Meanwhile, gold futures rose on volatile currency movements; silver also ended higher, rising 2.5% for its biggest one-day gain in five months.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (XLB)
The Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLB, A) was one of the best performers today, gaining 1.17% during the session. Materials shares were among today’s top performers, forcing this ETF to jump higher at the open. XLB pushed higher throughout the day, eventually settling at $38.88 a share [see Futures Free Commodity ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (TAN)
The Solar ETF (TAN, B+) also posted a strong performance today, gaining a whopping 14.6% during the session. Shares of First Solar (FSLR) rallied over 50% after the company announced it expects 2013 earnings between $4 and $4.50 a share, forcing this ETF to skyrocket after the announcement. TAN settled at $18.05 a share [see Energy Bull ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing themed strategy over the trailing 1-year period has been the Simple (But Effective) Safe Haven ETFdb Portfolio, which has gained 9.71%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.