It was a quiet day on Wall Street today with no major economic or earnings news reported. Stocks traded in a tight range during the session, as investors seemingly took a breather from Friday’s rally that had the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising above 15,000 and the S&P 500 topping the 1,600. Investors did however, turn their attention to financial shares after Class B shares of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) rose following the company’s better-than-expected earnings report. Bank of America (BAC) and J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) also pushed higher after a survey on lending from the Fed showed that banks saw stronger demand for loans over the past three months [see The Cheapest ETF for Every Investment Objective].
With no major economic news being reported, only two major U.S. equity indexes managed to close in positive territory. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) rose 0.26%, as its underlying index logged in a fresh intraday high of just over 1,619. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A-) ended 0.03% higher (though its underlying index was down 0.03% on the day), while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, B+) rose 0.39%.
In Europe, markets were also flat following a slightly weaker retail sales report. Meanwhile, Asian markets were mostly higher; China’s Shanghai Composite Index jumped 1.2% following the U.S.’s strong labor reported on Friday, while Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasury prices were lower once again today as the lack of economic data had the safe haven struggling to find a definitive direction. Yields on 10-year notes rose 3 basis points, while 30-year bond and 5-year notes rose 3 and 2 basis points, respectively [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Crude oil futures rose once again today, logging in their third-straight session gain, as investors weighed the impacts of the Israel-Syria conflict on supply and demand. Gasoline futures were also higher, while natural gas ended slightly lower. Meanwhile, gold futures settled higher.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (XLF)
The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF, A) was one of the best performers today, gaining 1.06% during the session. Financial shares were among today’s top performers, forcing this ETF to gap slightly higher at the open. XLF pushed higher throughout the day, eventually settling at $19.05 a share [see 2013 ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (EWM)
The MSCI Malaysia Index Fund (EWM, B+) also posted a strong performance today, gaining a whopping 6.33% during the session. As Malaysian equities surged after Prime Minister Najib Razak won Sunday’s election, this ETF gapped significantly higher at the open. EWM slid sideways for the remainder of the day, eventually settling at $16.64 a share [see Asia-Centric ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing regional strategy over the trailing 1-week period has been the Africa-Centric Portfolio, which has gained 2.03%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.