Wall Street was in for another volatile day of trading, as a slew of economic reports and brewing worries over Europe weighed heavily on investors. U.S. jobless claims fell once again last week to 366,000, just shy of the of 360,000 expected. Domestic fourth-quarter productivity fell 2%, while unit labor costs rose 4.5%. In a separate report, consumer credit for the month of December expanded by $14.6 billion, coming in significantly higher than the $13 billion expected increase. Meanwhile, investors kept their focus on the ECB’s press conference, as President Mario Draghi’s commentary renewed economic fears over the region [Be sure to check out the real estate news, trends, tips and tricks over at Dividend.com].
After yet another volatile session, all three major U.S. equity indexes slid into negative territory. The tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, A-) slid 0.33%, though its underlying index logged in a 0.11% loss on the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A-) fell 0.21%, while the S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) slid 0.13%. In Europe, markets were mostly lower after the ECB’s press conference, while continuing worries over political stability also weighed heavily on the region. In Asia, equities snapped their winning streak, staging a sharp pullback from yesterday’s gains on disappointing earnings data. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average slipped 0.9%, while China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.7%.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasuries were essentially flat today as investors weighed ECB President Mario Draghi’s comments and digested the latest jobless claims data. Yields on 10-year notes stayed flat at 1.96%, while 5-year notes 30-year bond yields remained at 0.83% and 3.18%, respectively [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Broad declines were seen across almost all commodities today. Brent crude futures rallied to five-month highs after Iran rejected calls for direct talks with the U.S.. Crude futures, however, declined on concerns of growing domestic supply levels in the Midwest. Gold fell in a volatile session following Draghi’s commentary, but managed to settle above $1,671.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (EUO)
The UltraShort Euro Fund (EUO, A) was one of the best performers today, gaining 1.83% during the session. Following Draghi’s pessimistic commentary on the currency, the Euro took a steep tumble today, forcing this leveraged short ETF to gap significantly higher at the open. EUO slid sideways for the rest of the session, eventually settling at $18.38 a share [see The Sky Is Falling Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (EWQ)
The MSCI France Index Fund (EWQ, B+) was one of the weaker performers today, shedding 1.80% during the session. Amidst continuing euro zone concerns and a lackluster earnings report from French drug-maker Sanofi (SAN), this ETF gapped significantly lower at the open. EWQ tumbled during the morning hours only to slide sideways for the remainder of the day, eventually settling at $23.41 a share [see Euro Free Europe Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing themed strategy over the trailing thirteen-week period has been the 2013 ETFdb Portfolio, which has gained 11.49%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.