Daily ETF Roundup: Stocks Advance On Merkel’s Comments

by on August 16, 2012 | ETFs Mentioned:

Markets had yet another day of mixed economic news, but today, renewed hopes on the Euro Zone front pushed stocks higher. The U.S. Labor Department reported that weekly jobless claims rose last week, the figures falling in line with expectations. Housing starts, however, unexpectedly fell in the month of July. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s index of manufacturing activity also showed a bigger-than-expected contraction in August. But investors quickly shrugged off these weaker-than-expected economic reports after German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her commitment to do whatever is necessary to keep the currency bloc together, and reiterated her support for ECB President Mario Draghi’s strategy. And with market momentum at its low, stocks will likely continue to be entirely headline driven [see also How To But The Right ETF Every Time]. 

Global Market Overview: Stocks Advance On Merkel’s Comments 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) had its biggest advance today in almost two weeks, pushing DIA up 0.65%. The S&P 500 (SPY) and Nasdaq (QQQ) also closed in positive territory, led by a rally in technology stocks. European markets ended higher after Merkel expressed her country’s commitment to do whatever it can to maintain the currency block. In Asia, Chinese equities ended slightly lower, while Japan closed in positive territory.

Bond ETF Roundup 

U.S. Treasuries extended their retreat today, yields rose to new three-month highs. After the Philadelphia Fed’s weak manufacturing report, Treasuries enjoyed a brief uptick. But by late afternoon trading, a reversal quickly put downward pressure on prices.

Commodity ETF Roundup

After a choppy trading day, natural gas futures ended lower despite a bullish inventory report announced earlier in the day. Crude oil extended its gains and advanced to new three-month highs, trading above $95 a barrel. Precious metals gold and silver rose to end higher today, pushing both GLD and SLV slightly higher [see also 25 Ways To Invest In Natural Gas].

ETF Chart Of The Day #1: USO

The United States Oil Fund (USO) was one of the best performers, gaining 1.05% on the day. Signs of stronger demand and renewed geopolitical tensions sent crude oil futures skyward today, forcing this ETF to gap higher at the open. USO surged higher throughout the day, but cooled off during the last hour of trading, eventually settling below its high of $35.76 a share [see also Bargain Shopping In Oil and Gas Stocks].

ETF Chart Of The Day #2: XLK

The State Street Technology Select SPDR ETF (XLK) advanced 1.36%, as technology stocks were today’s best performers. XLK gapped significantly higher at the open after bellwether stock Cisco Systems posted better than expected earnings and hiked its dividend by 75%. XLK continued to climb throughout the day, settling just shy of its high of $30.62 a share [see also High Tech ETFdb Portfolio].

ETF Fun Fact Of The Day

The Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) has approximately 3300 individual holdings, making it the broadest-based product in the All Cap Equities ETFdb Category. Only about 16.7% of assets are in the top ten holdings.

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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.