After rallying for nearly an entire month, stocks took a breather to finish lower on the last day of trading in January. A mixed bag of economic data and a slew of sour earnings reports weighed heavily on investors, forcing many to come to the realization that perhaps the market is ahead of itself. In today’s economic news, Chicago-area purchasing managers’ index for January rose further into expansion territory, while personal income rose more than expected for the month of December. Also, initial claims for jobless benefits rose unexpectedly last week. In corporate news, social media giant Facebook (FB) topped earnings and revenue estimates, but its operating margin came in lower. Package-delivery company UPS (UPS) also made headlines, as the company reported earnings that fell short of expectations [Be sure to check out the real estate news, trends, tips and tricks over at Dividend.com].
Global Market Overview: Stocks Finish Strong Month On Quiet Note
As investors digested the slew of earnings and economic reports, all three major U.S. equity indexes pulled back once again, closing in negative territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, B) logged in a 0.25% loss, though its underlying index is up 6% on the month. The S&P 500 ETF (SPY, A) fell 0.25%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ETF (QQQ, A-) slipped 0.22%. In Europe, markets were mostly lower after an unexpected drop in German retail sales. Asian equities, however, were mostly higher, finishing off a strong month on a high note. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average inched 0.2% higher, while China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.1%.
Bond ETF Roundup
U.S. Treasury prices were mostly higher today after weekly jobless claims came in higher than expected last week. Yields on 10-year notes and 30-year bonds declined roughly 1 basis points, while 5 and 7-year notes rose less than 1 basis point [see also Seven Simple & Cheap ETF Model Portfolios].
Commodities were mixed across the board today, with energy futures little changed. Gold and silver, however, retreated from yesterday’s rally as a weaker stock market and lower euro added to selling pressures.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: (AGQ)
The Ultra Silver Fund (AGQ, B+) was one of the worst performers today, shedding a dismal 3.27% during the session. Following today’s jobless claims report, this leveraged ETF gapped significantly lower at the open. AGQ turned lower throughout the day only to slide sideways during the final hours of trading, eventually settling at $46.96 a share [see Commodity Guru ETFdb Portfolio].
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ETF Chart Of The Day #2: (IPW)
The SPDR S&P International Energy Sector ETF (IPW, B+) also took a hit today, shedding 1.00% during the session. U.K. oil giant Royal Dutch Shell posted fourth-quarter earnings that were well under expectations, forcing this ETF to gap significantly lower at the open. With low trading levels, IPW slide sideways for the remainder of the day, eventually settling at $25.64 a share [see Energy Bull ETFdb Portfolio].
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ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The best-performing themed strategy over the trailing four-week period has been the Baby Boomers ETFdb Portfolio, which has gained nearly 4.3%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.
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