Bullish momentum reemerged on Wall Street today, with stocks finishing higher for the second consecutive session. Meanwhile, the first quarter earnings season kicked off with Alcoa, who posted a 59% rise in profits on one-time benefits and cost-reduction efforts. The aluminum giant did however note that revenue suffered from lower aluminum prices due to a massive supply glut. Overall, analysts have somewhat low expectations for this quarter’s earnings season, which has some investors thinking companies will once again beat expectations [see Free Member Report: How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].Global Market Overview: Stocks Close Higher As Earnings Season Kicks
As bullish momentum returned, all three major U.S. equity indexes managed to close in positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, B) gained 0.38%, after its underlying index rallied to hit a fresh all-time high at 14,716.46. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) rose 0.35%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, A-) gained 0.67%.
In Europe, markets were slightly higher after a report showed U.K. industrial production for February rose more than expected; the Stoxx Europe 600 inched 0.1% higher. Meanwhile, Asian markets were mixed; Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average slid 0.1%, snapping a four-session win streak, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index inched 0.6% higher.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasury prices were little changed today ahead of the FOMC minutes scheduled for release on Wednesday. Yields on 10-year notes were 1.75% and on 5-year notes 0.697%, while yields on 30-year bonds rose 2 basis points [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Crude oil futures traded higher today, topping $94 a barrel, as conflicts in Iran stirred up concerns over oil supplies. Meanwhile, gold futures rose on volatile currency movements; silver also ended higher, rising 2.5% for its biggest one-day gain in five months.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (XLB)
The Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLB, A) was one of the best performers today, gaining 1.17% during the session. Materials shares were among today’s top performers, forcing this ETF to jump higher at the open. XLB pushed higher throughout the day, eventually settling at $38.88 a share [see Futures Free Commodity ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (TAN)
The Solar ETF (TAN, C+) also posted a strong performance today, gaining a whopping 14.6% during the session. Shares of First Solar (FSLR) rallied over 50% after the company announced it expects 2013 earnings between $4 and $4.50 a share, forcing this ETF to skyrocket after the announcement. TAN settled at $18.05 a share [see Energy Bull ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing themed strategy over the trailing 1-year period has been the Simple (But Effective) Safe Haven ETFdb Portfolio, which has gained 9.71%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.