The bulls continued to dominate Wall Street today, pushing stocks higher once again despite discouraging economic data from overseas. After Fitch downgraded Italy’s credit rating to triple-B-plus on late Friday, euro stocks were hit with another blow today as Italy’s gross domestic product was reported to have contracted by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. China also posted disappointing data, with industrial production and retail sales coming in below expectations and inflation rising 3.2% in February from January [see Free Member Report: How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
Despite today’s disappointing economic reports, all three major U.S. equity indexes managed to close in positive territory today. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) rose 0.38%, as its underlying index rose to less than 1% away from its 2007 peak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A-) rallied 0.42%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, B+) gained 0.29%.
In Europe, equities were broadly lower, with the Stoxx Europe 600 slipping 0.1% following Italy’s sour GDP report. Meanwhile, Asian markets were mixed as investors feared China’s latest inflation report may mean more monetary tightening in the near future. China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.3%, while Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.5%.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasury prices continued their downward trend in the wake of last week’s upbeat labor data, pushing yields on 10-year notes to the highest levels in nearly a year. Bond traders also remained cautious ahead of tomorrows U.S. Treasury Department auction of 3-year notes. Yields on 5 and 10-year notes as well as 30-year bonds rose 1 basis points [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Following a late session turnaround, crude oil futures settled above $92 a barrel as a weaker dollar and a strong stock market offset weak data from China. Meanwhile prices for Brent oil and RBOB gasoline were lower. Gold futures remained mostly flat on a weaker dollar.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (FAS)
The Daily Financial Bull 3x Shares (XLY, A) was one of the best performers today, gaining 1.91% during the session. Financial shares were today’s biggest gainers, allowing this this leveraged ETF to trade higher throughout the day. As trading volumes peaked during the last hour of trading, FAS eventually settled at $165.80 a share [see Financials Free ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (KIE)
The SPDR S&P Insurance ETF (KIE, A) also posted a solid performance today, gaining 0.67% during the session. After an article in Barron’s said insurer Genworth’s shares (GNW) were undervalued, this ETF rallied during the morning hours. KIE traded higher throughout the day, eventually settling at $51.04 a share [see Greedy When Others Are Fearful ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing regional strategy over the trailing 1-week period has been the BRIC-or-Bust ETFdb Portfolio, which has gained 2.32%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.