Dovish comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke sent U.S. equities surging higher today, finishing near record levels. In his press conference after the closing bell on Wednesday, Bernanke stated that monetary policy would remain accomodative for the foreseeable future, even if the unemployment rate fell to the central bank’s target rate of 6.5%. In economic news, weekly jobless claims rose by 16,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 360,000, slightly above an expected 340,000 reading [see The Cheapest ETF for Every Investment Objective].
Following Bernanke’s commentary, all three major U.S. equity indexes rallied to close in positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A) jumped 1.09% after its underlying index closed at a new all-time high of 15,460.92. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) surged 1.36% higher, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, B+) gained 1.96%.
In Europe, markets were broadly higher; the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.6% to close at a five-week high. Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.4%, while China’s Shanghai Composite rallied 3.2% amid expectations that measures will soon be implemented to stabilize the country’s growth.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasuries rose today following a positive government auction of 30-year bonds. Yields on 10-year notes fell 6 basis points, while 30-year bonds and 5-year note yields fell 3 and 7 basis points, respectfully [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Crude oil futures traded slightly lower today, settling above $104 a barrel after yesterday’s rally which pushed the commodity to its highest level in 15 months. In other energy trading, natural gas futures shed 1.9% after the EIA reported supplies rose by 82 billion cubic feet for the week ended July 5. Meanwhile, gold futures rose on Bernanke’s commentary.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (IYW)
The U.S. Technology ETF (IYW, A-) was one of the best performers today, gaining 1.87% during the session. Technology shares were among today’s top performers, allowing this ETF to gap significantly higher at the open. IYW inched higher throughout the majority of the day, eventually settling at $77.01 a share [see High Tech ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (IWM)
The Russell 2000 ETF (IWM, B+) also posted a strong performance today, gaining 1.17% during the session. After the Russell 2000 index hit a new all-time high for the fourth-straight session, this ETF gapped significantly higher at the open. IWM slid sideways for the remainder of the day, eventually settling at $102.47 a share [see Small Cap ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing themed strategy year-to-date has been the Baby Boomers ETFdb Portfolio, which has gained 18.55%.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.