Bearish momentum continued on Wall Street today, as ongoing fears over the looming fiscal cliff overshadowed better-than-expected economic reports. The number of Americans applying for jobless benefits fell last week, bucking analyst’s expectations for an increase. Meanwhile, the U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed in September to the lowest level since the end of 2010. Despite the positive reports, investors remain grim over the possibility of a split Congress coming up with a resolution before the automatic round of massive spending cuts and tax hikes are to take effect on January 1st [see also How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
Global Market Overview: Stocks Decline On Fiscal Cliff Fears
Investors continued the post-election sell off today, pushing all three major U.S. indexes deeper into negative territory. Tech-heavy Nasdaq (QQQ) came in at the bottom of the barrel, shedding 1.42% during the session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) and S&P 500 (SPY) dropped 0.94% and 1.22%, respectively. In Europe, markets gave up earlier gains after a news report indicated that European finance ministers may delay its decision on when to release aid funds for Greece. Asian equities also closed lower: China’s Shanghai Composite slid 1.6%, while Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average dropped 1.5%.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasury priced ticked higher today, recovering yesterday’s losses, after a surprisingly strong sale of 30-year bonds. The Treasury Department sold $16 billion 30-year bonds at a lower-than-expected 2.82% yield.
Commodity ETF Roundup
Energy and metal futures traded higher today, with crude oil prices rising above $85 per barrel after suffering it’s biggest one-day drop yesterday. Meanwhile, natural gas futures ended slightly higher in a volatile session after a government report showed inventories grew less than expected.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: LBND
The Invesco PowerShares 3x Long 25+ Year Treasury Bond ETN (LBND) was one of the best performers today, gaining a whopping 4.33% during the session. With a better-than-expected government auction of 30-year bonds, this leveraged ETN gapped significantly higher at the open. LBND inched higher throughout the day, eventually settling at its high of $52.23 a share [see also 30 Years Til Retirement ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: GREK
The Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (GREK) was one of the worst performers today, shedding an abysmal 6.99% during the session. Following reports of a possible delay of bailout funds to Greece, this ETF gapped significantly lower at the open. GREK slid lower throughout the day, eventually settling at $15.44 a share [see also Euro Free Europe ETFdb Portfolio].
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
Only five ETFs offer exposure to Whole Foods Market (WFM), which tumbled 5.86% today after the natural-foods supermarket fiscal 2013 forecast missed analyst’s expectations. The EcoLogical Strategy ETF (HECO) allocates 5.24% of total assets to the stock, while the Dynamic Food & Beverage Fund (PBJ) gives WFM a 4.96% weighting.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.
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