The bulls and bears continued their tug-of-war today, as news from the U.S. and overseas weighed heavily on the markets. In Asia, Japan’s central bank bolstered equities after it announced a series of aggressive easing measures, stating that it will double its government bond holdings in two years. Meanwhile on the U.S. economic front, initial jobless claims increased by 28,000 to 385,000, slightly more than expected. Considering jobless claims have risen for the past three weeks, investors remain nervous ahead of tomorrow’s nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate reports [see Free Member Report: How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
As investors digested today’s disappointing labor data and the Bank of Japan’s drastic policy measures, all three major U.S. equity index managed to rebound and close in positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A) gained 0.41%, as its underlying index rebounded from a 112-point slide on Wednesday. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) rose 0.43%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, B+) inched 0.03% higher.
In Europe, markets were broadly lower after ECB President Mario Draghi acknowledged that the economic slowdown had spread to countries that had previously stood resilient admits the debt debacle; the Stoxx Europe 600 tumbled 1.1%. Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average jumped 2.22% following the Bank of Japan’s policy announcement.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasury prices rallied today following a weak jobless claims report and the Bank of Japan’s aggressive policy announcement Yields on 10-year notes fell 5 basis points, while yields on 5-year notes and 30-year bonds fell 3 and 6 basis points, respectively [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Crude oil futures fell once again today, settling below $94 a barrel as ECB President Draghi’s commentary raised concerns about energy demand. Natural gas futures, however, ended slightly higher after briefly turning lower following an EIA report that reported a decline in U.S. inventories. Meanwhile, gold futures ended lower for a third day.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (JGBD)
The DB 3x Inverse Japanese Government Bond Futures ETN (JGBD, B) was one of the worst performers today, shedding 3.00% during the session. After the Bank of Japan announced that it will double its government bond holdings in two years, this leveraged short ETN gapped lower at the open. JGBD inched lower throughout the day, eventually settling at $17.45 a share [see Asia-Centric ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (XLU)
The Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU, A) was one of the best performers today, gaining 0.95% during the session. Utilities shares were among today’s top performers, forcing this ETF to jump during the morning hours. XLU inched higher throughout the day, eventually settling at $39.40 a share [see Energy Bull ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing themed strategy over the trailing 1-week period has been the Cheapskate Hedge Fund ETFdb Portfolio, which has gained 0.66%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.