U.S. equities ended in positive territory once again today after the second quarter earnings season kicked off on a relatively positive note. Yesterday, bellwether Alcoa reported adjusted earnings that were higher than expected, while revenues fell in line with expectations. In economic news, the National Federation of Independent Business reported that its small-business optimism index fell in June from the month before, while the Conference Board’s employment trends index rose 3.8% from a year ago [see The Cheapest ETF for Every Investment Objective].
With the second quarter earnings season on its way, all three major U.S. equity indexes managed to close in positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A) rallied 0.51% after its underlying index was within 100 points of reaching its record close of 15,409.39. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) rose 0.72%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, B+) gained 0.62% after its underlying index posted its best close since October of 2000.
In Europe, markets were broadly higher; the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.8%. Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rallied 2.6% to close at its highest level since May, while China’s Shanghai Composite tacked on 0.4%.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasuries traded slightly higher today following a positive government auction of 3-year notes. Yields on 10-year notes fell 2 basis points, while 30-year bonds yields rose slightly to 3.644% and 3-year note yields fell 0.5 basis points [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Crude oil futures traded higher today, settling above $103 a barrel to finish at their highest level in 14 months. In other energy trading, gasoline gained 4 cents while natural gas shed 3.4%. Meanwhile, gold futures rose to settle at $1,245.90 an ounce on Chinese inflation data.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (XLI)
The Industrial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLI, A) was one of the best performers today, gaining 1.40% during the session. Industrial shares were among today’s top performers, allowing this ETF to gap significantly higher at the open. XLI inched higher throughout the majority of the day, eventually settling at $44.03 a share [see Futures Free Commodity ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (XHB)
The SPDR Homebuilders ETF (XHB, A+) also posted a strong performance today, gaining 2.77% during the session. Following news that foreclosures in May were down 27% from a year ago, this ETF gapped higher at the open. XHB pushed higher throughout the day, eventually settling at $30.03 a share [see Consumer Centric ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing themed strategy over the trailing 1-year period has been the Financials Free ETFdb Portfolio, which has gained 9.47%.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.