Equity markets started off the week with a lackluster day of trading, as investors remained cautious amid fears of a pullback following the recent rally that helped push major indexes to multi-year highs. Though many believe we are well past due for some sort of a pullback, political uncertainty ahead of President Obama’s State of the Union address tomorrow night has investors hesitant to jump in. In his address, investors will keep a close eye on budget talks and any commentary concerning spending cuts [Be sure to check out the real estate news, trends, tips and tricks over at Dividend.com].
After today’s lackluster session, all three major U.S. equity indexes slid into negative territory. The tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, B+) eked out a 0.03% gain, though its underlying index logged in a 0.06% loss on the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A-) fell 0.15%, while the S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) slid 0.02%. In Europe, markets sank as finance ministers met to discuss Greece’s progress as well as bailout plans for Cyprus. In Asia, most equity markets were closed for holiday. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.2% after closing at its highest level in over 2 years on Friday.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasuries were essentially flat today as bond traders remained cautious ahead of $72 billion in note and bond sales this week. Yields on 30-year bonds stayed flat at 3.16%, while 10-year notes yields gained 1 basis point [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Brent crude futures fell after last week’s blizzard in the U.S. Northeast was reported to have little impact on the region’s fuel supply. U.S. crude futures, however, were higher, while RBOB gasoline slumped. Gold futures fell to a one-month low after prices slid through key support levels; prices for other precious metals were also lower.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (OIH)
The Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (OIH, B+) was one of the worst performers today, shedding 1.10% during the session. Energy shares staged a sharp pullback today after being one of the best performing sectors this year, forcing this ETF to gap slightly lower at the open. OIH quickly fell lower during the morning hours, eventually settling near its low of $43.14 a share [see Energy Bull ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (GXF)
The FTSE Nordic 30 ETF (GXF, B) also posted a poor performance today, shedding 1.86% during the session. Shares of Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk (NVO) tumbled after the FDA requested more data for the company’s new insulin drug. As a result, GXF gapped significantly lower at the open. The fund slid sideways for the remainder of the day, eventually settling at $21.06 a share [see Global Titans ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing retirement strategy over the trailing thirteen-week period has been the 30 Years Til Retirement Portfolio, which has gained 10.23%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.