Despite a relatively active day on the earnings front, Wall Street was in for a rather lackluster trading session today as investors digested the latest earnings and remained wary of upcoming fiscal talks in Washington. Among today’s bellwether reports, Goldman Sachs (GS) rallied after the company posted fourth quarter earnings that nearly tripled expectations. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) shares, however, declined even after the financial giant exceeded earnings estimates, in part due to the company’s increased mortgage lending profit. JPMorgan also made headlines today after CEO Jamie Dimon’s bonus was cut in half in response to last year’s “London Whale” trading loss. In economic news, the Fed’s beige book released today indicated that the U.S. economy expanded at a “modest” rate in December and early January as the housing sector picked up its pace [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Global Market Overview: Stocks End Flat Despite Earnings Surprises
As investors digested a slew of earnings, only one major U.S. equity index managed to close in positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA, B) snapped its 5-day winning streak, after yet another Boeing 787 Dreamliners blunder dragged down the index. The S&P 500 (SPY, A) lost 0.01%, while tech-heavy Nasdaq (QQQ, A-), rose 0.41%, bolstered by a rebound in Apple (AAPL) shares. In Europe, markets were mostly unchanged with the Stoxx Europe 600 inching up less than a point. Asian equities were mostly lower on profit taking, with Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average logging in a 2.6% decline and China’s Shanghai Composite slipping 0.7%.
Bond ETF Roundup
Following a quick correctional sell off, U.S. Treasury prices rose for a fourth day today, reflecting investors ongoing uncertainty surrounding monetary policy. Yields on 5 and 10-year notes as well as 30-year bonds fell 2 basis points.
Commodities were mixed across the board today amidst thin trading volumes. U.S. crude oil futures rallied today following a report from the Energy Information Administration that showed a decline in U.S. crude inventory last week. Platinum futures also rallied earlier in the day after a mining labor crisis in South Africa stirred supply shortage fears.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (KBE)
The State Street SPDR S&P Bank ETF (KBE, A-) was in for a volatile session today, gaining only 0.28% during the day. Better-than-expected earnings reports from Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan were overshadowed by missed earnings estimates by Northern Trust and Bank of New York Mellon. KBE’s trading volumes popped at the open, though the fund zigzagged throughout the day to eventually settle at $25.00 a share [see Financials Free ETFdb Portfolio].
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ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (GLDX)
The Global X Gold Explorers ETF (GLDX, C+) was one of the worst performers today, shedding 2.14% during the session. Alongside a decline in gold and other precious metals’ prices, this ETF tumbled during the late afternoon hours amid painfully thin trading volumes. GLDX eventually settled at its low of $7.31 a share [see GLD-Free Gold Bug ETFdb Portfolio].
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ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing retirement strategy over the trailing three year period has been the 30 Years Til Retirement Portfolio, which has gained nearly 38%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.
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