U.S. equities kicked off the week with a bang, with the S&P 500 closing at an all-time high and the Nasdaq ending at its best level since November of 2000. Bolstering today’s rally was a better-than-expected home sales report, which came in at the highest level in three years. The Commerce Department also reported that consumer spending increased in March, though personal income rose by less than expected. Meanwhile, Italy’s prime minister announced his cabinet over the weekend, ending over two months of political deadlock [see What Can You Buy With Apple's Cash?].
Following today’s better-than-expected economic reports, all three major U.S. equity indexes managed to close in positive territory. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) rose 0.67% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, B+) gained 0.92%, as both underlying indexes logged in record closes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A) ended 0.67% higher.
In Europe, markets were higher after Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta helped ease political tensions; the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.5%. Meanwhile, Asian markets were higher; Australia’s S&P ASX 200 inched 0.6% higher, while Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average and China’s Shanghai Composite were closed for holidays.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasury prices were slightly lower on the long end of the yield curve after the federal government announced it would pay off $35 billion in debt during the current quarter. Yields on 10-year notes and 30-year bonds rose roughly 1 basis point [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Crude oil futures rose to settle above $94 a barrel as investor optimism for additional economic stimulus from global central banks boosted the fuel. Gasoline futures, however were slightly lower, while natural gas ended higher. Meanwhile, gold futures added 1%.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (XLK)
The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK, A) was one of the best performers today, gaining 1.43% during the session. Technology shares were among today’s top performers, forcing this ETF to gap slightly higher at the open. XLK pushed higher throughout the day, eventually settling at $30.47 a share [see High Tech ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (REZ)
The FTSE NAREIT Residential Index Fund (REZ, A) also posted a strong performance today, gaining 0.93% during the session. After previously-owned property sales came in better than expected, this ETF jumped significantly higher at the open. REZ inched higher throughout the day, eventually settling at $54.10 a share [see Consumer Centric ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing retirement strategy over the trailing 4-week period has been the Cheapskate Portfolio, which has gained 1.94%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.