After straddling the flat line for the majority of the day, stocks closed little changed in yet another day of thin trading on Wall Street. One the economic front, euro zone’s disappointing fourth-quarter GDP figure greatly overshadowed better-than-expected domestic labor news. Meanwhile, investors digested a flurry of M&A activity from several bellwether companies. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and private-equity firm 3G Capital announced it will acquire H.J. Heinz (HNZ), whose shares soared nearly 20% following the news. US Airways Group (LLC), however, tumbled after the company and American Airlines formally announced merger plans. Also, Anheuser-Busch InBEV said it will sell Grupo Modelo’s U.S. assets to Constellation Brands (STZ) [Be sure to check out the real estate news, trends, tips and tricks over at Dividend.com].
Despite today’s multiple M&A deals, U.S. equity indexes closed mixed on the day. The tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, A-) inched 0.03%, though its underlying index closed up 0.06%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A-) slipped 0.01%, while the S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) managed to log in a mere 0.09% gain.
In Europe, were mostly lower after euro zone fourth quarter GDP contracted more than expected. Japanese and Hong Kong equities were mostly higher after the Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy unchanged. Markets in Shanghai remained closed for holiday.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasuries rose today after the Treasury Department sold $16 billion in 30-year bonds at the highest auctioned yield since April. Yields on 30-year bonds, 5 and 10-year notes fell 5 basis points [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Crude oil futures rose today as fears concerning the gasoline supply heightened, outweighing reports of a weakening euro zone. Precious metals, however, fell today on euro zone worries with spot gold prices fell to a six week low.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (OIH)
The Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (OIH, A-) was one of the best performers today, gaining a whopping 2.94% during the session. Alongside a rally in energy shares, this ETF jumped during the first hour of trading. OIH climbed higher throughout the day, eventually settling at $44.88 a share [see Energy Bull ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (PBJ)
The Dynamic Food & Beverage ETF (PBJ, B+) also posted a solid performance today, gaining 1.83% during the session. After Berkshire Hathaway and private-equity firm 3G Capital announced it will acquire H.J. Heinz (HNZ), this ETF gapped significantly higher at the open. PBJ slid sideways for the remainder of the day, eventually settling at $21.74 a share [see Consumer Centric ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing themed strategy over the trailing four-week period has been the High Tech ETFdb Portfolio, which has gained 4.09%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.