U.S. equities got off to a relatively strong start as investors turned their attention to the Federal Reserve meeting later this week. In economic news, the New York Fed’s Empire State manufacturing index rose to 7.84 in June, indicating an expansion; analysts had expected a reading of zero. In a separate report, the NAHB/Wells Fargo homebuilder sentiment index soared to 52 in June, marking the first reading above 50 since April 2006 and the biggest jump since 2002 [see The Cheapest ETF for Every Investment Objective].
Recovering from earlier lows, all three major U.S. equity indexes rallied to close in positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A-) rose 0.74%, after its underlying index logged in its fifth-consecutive triple-digit move. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) gained 0.78%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, B+) rose 0.94%.
In Europe, markets were broadly higher after Germany’s central bank reported that the nation’s economy is set to expand strongly in Q2; the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.7%. Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average surged 2.7% on a weaker yen, while China’s Shanghai Composite slipped 0.27%.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasury prices fell today on Fed tapering concerns. Yields on 10-year notes and 30-year bonds rose 3.5 basis points, while 5-year note yields slid 1.5 basis points [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Crude oil futures traded lower today, settling below $98 a barrel, as escalating violence in Syria weighed heavily on the commodity. In other energy trading, natural gas futures were slightly higher, while gasoline prices declined 4 cents. Meanwhile, gold futures traded lower, settling at $1,383.10 an ounce.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (XHB)
The SPDR Homebuilders ETF (XLF, A) was one of the best performers today, gaining 1.49% during the session. Homebuilder shares were among today’s top performers following an upbeat homebuilder sentiment report, allowing this ETF to rally during the morning trading hours. XHB slid sideways for the remainder of the day, eventually settling at $31.29 a share [see Consumer Centric ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (EWG)
The MSCI Germany Index Fund (EWG, B+) also posted a strong performance today, gaining 1.41% during the session. After the Bundesbank announced a cheery economic outlook for Germany in Q2, this ETF gapped significantly higher at the open. EWG slid sideways for the remainder of the day, eventually settling at $26.61 a share [see Global Titans ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing themed strategy over the trailing 13-week period has been the Baby Boomers ETFdb Portfolio, which has gained 6.19%.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.