Wall Street started the second quarter of 2013 on a sour note, with disappointing economic data pushing major U.S. equity indexes lower. The Institute for Supply Management reported that its manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to 51.3 in March from the previous month’s reading of 54.2. In a separate report, construction spending rebounded in February, rising 1.2% according to the Commerce Department. Meanwhile, trading volumes were fairly low today as most European and Asian markets were closed for holiday [see Free Member Report: How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
Following today’s disappointing ISM report, all three major U.S. equity index slipped to close in negative territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A) posted a meager 0.02% uptick, though its underlying index closed down 0.04% on the day. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) slipped 0.40%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, B+) fell 0.68%.
In Europe, markets were closed for the Easter holiday. Meanwhile, Asian markets slumped after the Bank of Japan’s Tankan survey showed more pessimists than optimists among the manufacturers surveyed. China’s Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.10%, while Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average fell 2.12%.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasury prices were higher today after the ISM manufacturing survey posted a surprise decline in March. Yields on 5 and 10-year notes fell 1 basis point, while 30-year bonds fell 3 basis points [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Crude oil futures logged in their first decline in six sessions, as traders digested the latest manufacturing data. Prices for gasoline and natural gas futures were also slightly lower. Meanwhile, gold futures traded slightly higher in low holiday trading volumes.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (XLI)
The Industrial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU, A) was one of the worst performers today, shedding 1.22% during the session. Industrial shares were among today’s worst performers following the ISM manufacturing report, forcing this ETF to tumble during the few hours of trading. XLI eventually slid sideways, settling at $41.25 a share [see Greedy When Others Are Fearful ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (ITB)
The Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Index Fund (ITB, A-) also posted a weak performance today, shedding 1.59% during the session. Despite today’s better-than-expected construction spending report, this ETF jumped significantly lower at the open. ITB slid sideways for the remainder of the day, eventually settling at $23.51 a share [see 2013 ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing themed strategy over the trailing 1-year period has been the RAFI ETFdb Portfolio, which has gained 9.69%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.