Equities got off to a rough start this morning as ongoing economic and political concerns over Europe kept major U.S. benchmarks off their all-time highs. Keeping a cap on gains was disappointing data from the European Commission, which reported that its economic-sentiment indicator fell in March for the first time since October. In Italy, retail sails and industrial orders both came in below analysts’ expectations. Meanwhile, Cyprus is now preparing aggressive curbs on the flow of cash out of the country [see Free Member Report: How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
As concerns over the political and economic stability of Europe heightened, only one major U.S. equity index managed to close in positive territory. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) remained unchanged, as its underlying index finished within striking distance of its highest close since 2007. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A) slipped 0.22%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, B+) inched 0.13% higher.
In Europe, markets were broadly lower, with the Stoxx Europe 600 falling 0.4%. Meanwhile, Asian markets were higher on the back of encouraging U.S. data reported on Tuesday. China’s Shanghai Composite Index inched 0.16% higher, while Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.18%.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasury prices were higher today after a poor Italian bond auction and political uncertainty in italy. Yields on 10-year notes fell 6 basis points, while 30-year bonds and 5-year note yields fell 5 and 4 basis points, respectively [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Crude oil futures staged a rebound from earlier losses today, settling back above $96 a barrel. Natural gas futures were also higher, settling at their highest level since August of 2011. Meanwhile, gold futures traded higher on renewed euro zone worries.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (IBB)
The Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB, B+) was one of the best performers today, gaining 1.36% during the session. Biotech shares were among today’s top performers, forcing this ETF to rally during the last hours of trading. Though IBB initially slipped lower at the open, the ETF charged higher throughout the day, eventually settling at $15.77 a share [see Baby Boomers ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (EUO)
The UltraShort Euro Fund (EUO, A) also posted a strong performance today, gaining 1.36% during the session. The euro took a steep tumble today, falling beloe $1.28 for the first time in four months, forcing this leveraged short ETF to gap significantly higher at the open. EUO slid sideways for the remainder of the day, eventually settling at $20.16 a share [see Euro Free Europe Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing retirement strategy over the trailing 13-week period has been the 30 Years Til Retirement Portfolio, which has gained 7.14%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.