Bullish momentum made an appearance on Wall Street today, as encouraging economic data and potential progress over the debt ceiling brought back some investor confidence. U.S. housing starts popped in December, bucking economists’ expectations. Jobless claims also came in better than expected in the latest week, while the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s regional manufacturing gauge fell for January. The Bank of Japan once again made headlines today, stating that they are planning further stimulus action. In corporate news, financial giants Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C) both missed expectations, while BlackRock (BLK) and Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) beat analysts’ forecasts [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
As investors digested a slew of economic reports, all three major U.S. equity index rallied to close in positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A) logged in a 0.70% gain on the session as its underlying index rallied just short of its 5-year high. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) rose 0.65%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, B+) rose 0.48%. In Europe, markets were mostly higher after several better-than-expected earnings reports. Asian equities were mixed, with Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average logging in a 0.1% gain and China’s Shanghai Composite dropping 1.1%.
Bond ETF Roundup
For the first time in five days, U.S. Treasury prices fell following a slew of positive domestic economic data. Positive developments in Washington over the debt ceiling also weighed heavily on the safe haven. Yields on 5 year notes and 30-year bonds rose 5 basis points, while 10-year notes jumped 6 basis points.
With the exception of grains, commodities were higher across the board today on strong U.S. data. Gold and silver futures were higher, while copper prices rallied 1.48%. Energy futures also posted solid gains with U.S. crude futures rising 1% and RBOB gasoline gaining 1.56%.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (ITB)
The Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Index Fund (ITB, A-) was one of the best performers today, gaining a whopping 2.71% during the day. Following today’s better-than-expected U.S. housing reports, this ETF gapped significantly higher at the open. ITB rallied throughout the day, eventually settling near its high of $22.73 a share [Be sure to check out the real estate news, trends, tips and tricks over at Dividend.com].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (IHF)
The Dow Jones U.S. Health Care Providers Index Fund (IHF, B) also posted a solid performance today, gaining 1.56% during the session. After health insurer giant United Health (UNH) posted revenues that topped expectations, this ETF gapped significantly higher at the open. IHF rose higher throughout the day, eventually settling near its high of $71.77 a share [see Baby Boomers ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing regional strategy over the trailing four week period has been the BRIC-or-Bust ETFdb Portfolio, which has gained nearly 6.7%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.