Stocks struggled to find a definitive direction today as slumping energy stocks offset better-than-expected economic readings. New York factory activity was reported to have expanded this month, the first major uptick seen since July. Consumer sentiment also topped analysts’ expectations in a preliminary reading for February, while U.S. industrial production fell, but lower than forecasted. Meanwhile, the Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers met in Moscow today to discuss the issues and fears surrounding the latest trend of competitive currency devaluations seen around the globe [Be sure to check out the real estate news, trends, tips and tricks over at Dividend.com].
With no major catalysts, U.S. equity indexes closed mixed on the day. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) logged in a 0.12% loss, though its underlying index managed to pull off its seventh-straight week higher, the longest weekly win streak in over two years. The tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, A) slipped 0.29%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A-) slipped 0.04%.
In Europe, were mostly lower after U.K. retail sales fell unexpectedly and euro zone imports and exports raised some concerns. Japanese equities were mostly lower today amid concerns that the G-20 meeting will focus its attention on the recent declines in the yen. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average slumped 1.2%, while Shanghai markets remained closed for holiday.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasury prices fell today as bond traders paid little attention to the better-than-expected U.S. economic news. Yields on 5 and 10-year notes rose 2 basis points, while 30-year bond yields rose 3 basis points [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
With the exception of agricultural futures, most commodities were down today. Crude oil futures tumbled after U.S. industrial output was reported to have contracted, spurring concerns about lackluster economic activity. Gold, along with other precious metals, also took a hit today with the shiny yellow metal ending the session at a six-month low.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (IEO)
The Dow Jones U.S. Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Index Fund (IEO, B+) was one of the worst performers today, shedding 1.79% during the session. As energy shares fell on today’s disappointing U.S. industrial production data, this ETF took a steep tumble during the first hour of trading. IEO ticked lower throughout the day, eventually settling at $71.37 a share [see Energy Bull ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (GLDX)
The Gold Explorers ETF (GLDX, B-) also posted a weak performance today, shedding an abysmal 2.97% during the session. Alongside falling gold prices, this ETF gapped lower at the open. GLDX fell lower throughout the day, eventually settling at $5.89 a share [see Consumer Centric ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing regional strategy over the trailing four-week period has been the Euro Free Europe Portfolio, which has gained 2.46%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.