Following a pair disappointing U.S. economic reports, Wall Street went on the defensive today, sparking a broad sell-off. The Institute for Supply Management’s reading on the U.S. non-manufacturing sector came in well below expectations, falling to its lowest level since August of 2012. This follows Monday’s ISM manufacturing report which showed that the manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to 51.3 in March from the previous month’s reading of 54.2. A disappointing private-sector jobs growth report also weighed heavily on the markets; data compiled by Automatic Data Processing and Moody’s Analytics showed an increase of 158,000 jobs in March, well below the expected 192,000 [see Free Member Report: How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
Following today’s disappointing ISM and labor reports, all three major U.S. equity index tumbled to close in negative territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A) fell 0.77%, as its underlying index shed more than 111 points. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) shed 1.01%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, B+) slumped 0.91%.
In Europe, markets were broadly lower ahead of monetary policy announcements by the ECB and the Bank of England; the Stoxx Europe 600 slipped 0.9%. Meanwhile, Asian markets were mixed; China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 2.44%, while Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average jumped 2.99% on expectations of aggressive monetary stimulus from the Bank of Japan’s policy meeting.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasury prices traded higher today after disappointing reports on private-sector jobs and the U.S. service sector raised several red flags. Yields on 5 and 10-year notes fell 4 basis points, while yields on 30-year bonds fell 5 basis points [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Crude oil futures tumbled nearly 3% today after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a climb in crude supplies that was more than expected; the slowdown in private-payrolls also weighed heavily on the commodity. Meanwhile, gold futures ended lower after tumbling to a nine-month low earlier in the session.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (IWM)
The Russell 2000 Index Fund (IWM, A-) was one of the worst performers today, shedding 1.57% during the session. As investors shied away from riskier asset classes, small cap stocks took a steep tumble, forcing this ETF to fall during the earlier trading hours. IWM inched lower throughout the day, eventually settling at $91.13 a share [see Small Cap ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (XLF)
The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF, A) also posted a poor performance today, shedding 1.65% during the session. Financial shares were among today’s worst performers, forcing this ETF to tumble during the morning hours. XLF inched lower throughout the day, eventually settling at $17.93 a share [see Financials Free ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing themed strategy over the trailing 13-week period has been the Baby Boomers ETFdb Portfolio, which has gained 12.73%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.