U.S. equities ended the day barely changed as investors turned their focus to the the latest FOMC minutes and Ben Bernanke’s press conference. The minutes hinted that central bank officials are divided on when the Fed should begin scaling back its massive bond-buying program. The minutes stated that “Several members judged that a reduction in asset purchases would likely soon be warranted, but many members indicated that further improvement in the outlook for the labor market would be required before it would be appropriate to slow the pace of asset purchases.” [see The Cheapest ETF for Every Investment Objective].
Following a lackluster trading session, only two major U.S. equity indexes managed to close in positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A) slipped 0.05% after its underlying index snapped its four-day win streak. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) edged 0.04% higher, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, B+) gained 0.57%.
In Europe, markets were broadly higher, rebounding from earlier losses; the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.1%. Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average fell 0.4%, while China’s Shanghai Composite rallied 2.2% despite a surprise decline in both Chinese exports and imports in June.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasuries fell today as investors digested the latest FOMC minutes. Yields on 10-year notes rose 4 basis points, while 30-year bonds and 5-year note yields rose 3 and 2.5 basis points, respectfully [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Crude oil futures surged past $106 a barrel today to settle at their highest level in 15 months after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a 9.9 million-barrel decline in stockpiles for the week ended July 5. In other energy trading, gasoline futures rose 3% after the EIA reported supplies falling by 2.6 million barrels. Meanwhile, gold futures rose on Fed minutes.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (UCO)
The Ultra DJ-UBS Crude Oil ETF (UCO, A) was one of the best performers today, gaining 3.20% during the session. As crude oil rallied to close above $106 a barrel, this ETF gapped significantly higher at the open. UCO inched higher throughout the majority of the day, eventually settling at $35.78 a share [see Futures Free Commodity ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (IBB)
The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index Fund ETF (IBB, B+) also posted a strong performance today, gaining 1.17% during the session. Biotech and healthcare shares were among today’s top performers, allowing this ETF to rally throughout the session. IBB eventually settled at $184.62 a share [see Baby Boomers ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing themed strategy over the trailing 13-week period has been the High Tech ETFdb Portfolio, which has gained 5.85%.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.