The bulls took charge right from the opening bell today as solid economic data gave investors plenty to cheer about. Major equity indexes kicked off the week on a positive note following the latest ISM Manufacturing results; this month’s figure came in at 51.5 versus the previous reading of 49.6, marking a modest increase in manufacturing activity at home in the face of a global slowdown. Overseas, markets went on to extend gains following last week’s confidence boost after Spain’s stress-test results [see ETF Insider: Technicals Favor Stocks].Global Market Overview: U.S. Manufacturing Data Welcomes Bulls
Shares of Apple shed upwards of 1% on the day, dragging down the tech-heavy Nasdaq; QQQ lost 0.15% and was the only major benchmark in red territory for the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) and S&P 500 (SPY) closed higher on the day amid optimism surrounding the latest ISM figures; these funds gained 0.54% and 0.26% respectively as the closing bell rang.
Bond ETF Roundup
Despite positive price action on the equity side, fixed income securities also moved higher as global central bank stimulus measures remain in the spotlight. U.S. Treasuries took the lead higher on the day while investors in the “junk bond” space jumped ship after a positive start for this asset class.
Commodity ETF Roundup
Better-than-expected manufacturing data bolstered industrial metals and energy resources higher across the board; a declining U.S. dollar only added to the gains for these commodity futures throughout the session.ETF Chart Of The Day #1: UNG
The United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was one of the best performers, gaining a stellar 4.64% on the day. A continued string of cold weather forecasts across much of the home front ignited a rally for natural gas prices right from the opening bell. UNG went onto settle above its most recent closing high at $22.42 on 7/31/2012; this fund ended the session just shy of the $22.40 level [see our Energy Bull ETFdb Portfolio].VNQ
The Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ) was one of the worst performers, shedding 0.74% on the day. With no fundamental developments taking place in the real estate market, its safe to say that profit taking pressures were the culprit behind VNQ’s decline on the day. This ETF has been correcting lower since shares hit $69.20 on 9/17/2012; despite today’s sell-off, VNQ is still up 11% year-to-date [see also Doomsday Special: 7 Hard Asset Investments You Can Hold In Your Hand].
The best performing regional portfolio thus far in 2012 is our Africa-Centric ETFdb Model Portfolio; this strategy is up 17.63% year-to-date.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.
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