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ETF Weekly Review: Treasuries Rebound, Oil Drops


The S&P 500 was little changed this week as the U.S. blue-chip index eyes a breakout to the highest levels since 2007. Meanwhile, Treasury ETFs bounced somewhat following the steep pullback this summer, and oil dropped sharply.

In afternoon trading Friday, the S&P 500 was on track for a weekly decline of 0.1%, the Dow gained 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.2%.

ETFs pegged to the major indices were flat for the week following big rallies the past two weeks on easing measures from the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank.

It was also a quiet week for economic data, although homebuilder ETFs gained ground on upbeat housing data – iShares US Home Construction Index (ITB) was poised for a nearly 3% weekly gain. The builder ETF is up 36% the past three months.

The big losers this week were oil ETFs, which fell sharply with crude prices. [Oil ETFs Plummet 7% on Week as Volume Spikes]

The iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average (IYT) fell more than 5% this week and the fund’s lackluster performance is worrying Dow Theory followers. [Transportation ETF Still Lagging]

Volatility-linked ETFs were also among the week’s biggest decliners on a falling VIX. [VIX ETFs Show Market Complacency as Stocks Flirt with Record Highs]

Conversely, the top three unleveraged this week were ProShares Short VIX Short-Term Futures (SVXY), VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short Term (XIV) and PIMCO 25+ Year Zero Coupon U.S. Treasury (ZROZ) with gains of about 4% in afternoon dealings Friday.

The bottom three unleveraged ETFs this week were iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil (OIL), U.S. Oil Fund (USO) and U.S. 12 Month Oil Fund (USL) with setbacks of roughly 6%.

In next week’s economic data, look for reports on home prices, consumer confidence, new home sales, pending home sales, durable goods orders, and personal income and spending.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of John Spence, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.