American equity markets rose across the board in Wednesday trading as strong earnings carried the major indexes. The Dow added about 0.7% on Boeing’s strength while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq gained 1.4% and 2.3%, respectively, as market leader Apple surged nearly 9% in the session.
This strength was also seen in some of the smaller names in the basic materials sector, while large portions of the tech world also received a nice boost on Apple’s impressive earnings report. Some of the only losers in the session came from Caterpillar (CAT), General Dynamics (GD), and Conoco Phillips (COP) all of which lost at least 1.2% on the day (also read: Lower Wal-Mart Exposure With These Consumer ETFs).
Thanks to this bullish attitude in the markets, investors shied away from safe assets, pushing the U.S. dollar index down near the $79 level and the 10 Year note up to a yield of about 1.99%. Still, the dollar was pretty mixed against most of the world’s major currencies as the euro and the pound both added about a quarter of a penny against the greenback.
Commodity markets also benefited from the broad surge in demand for risky assets as most products rose sharply in mid-week trading. Natural gas was an especially big winner as the beaten down fuel rose over 5.1% on the day while heating oil also added 1.0% in the session.
Beyond those commodities, investors also saw a nice rebound in the livestock market, and strong performances in many of the grains. Seemingly the only losers today came in silver, and heavy selling in cocoa and coffee which both fell by more than 1.4% on the day.
In ETF trading, investors finally saw some outsized volumes in the commodity space while several popular equity ETFs had reasonable trading days as well. Mining and international ETFs were also among the most actives today, despite the focus on U.S. corporate earnings.
In particular, the Credit Suisse Cushing 30 MLP ETN (MLPN) saw a huge spike in volume during Wednesday’s session. The ETN usually sees volume of about 91,000 shares but experienced volume of 766,000 shares during today’s trading (read Oil Bull Market Is No Place For MLP ETF Investors).
This spike could be a result of a slightly more positive short-term outlook on the natural gas market and MLPN’s role as a safer way to play this slice of the commodity world. The note focuses on stocks that transport hydrocarbons around the country and pays a high dividend, well over 5%. Given this focus and today’s surge in natural gas futures, investors may have taken a closer look at this product as an equity trading mechanism for the broad industry during today’s session.
Another fund that saw outsized trading in Wednesday’s session was the Global X China Financials ETF (CHIX). The ETF usually trades around 28,800 shares in a session but volume today spiked to 141,800 shares. This is quite impressive given that the product only has AUM of about $12 million (see The Guide to China Bond ETFs).
While the fund may not have caught on yet with investors, it is still the only way to play the Chinese financial market in ETF form. Given that there has been (slightly) more positive rumblings out of China as of late, especially in the financial sector, some may have wanted to trade this segment alone on the solid day in the market, as the fund added almost 1% on this nearly unprecedented volume.
(see more on ETFs in the Zacks ETF Center)