American markets finished the Holiday-shortened week on a down
note as a disappointing jobs report sent stocks lower. Analysts had
expected nonfarm payrolls to increase by about 90,000 m/m but the
results came in at just 80,000. Meanwhile private payrolls, which
were expected to come in at
, only showed an increase of 84,000 suggesting that some level of
weakness still exists in the jobs market.
Thanks to this bearish report, the Dow finished the day lower by
about 1% while the S&P 500 slumped by 0.9% on the session. The
Nasdaq did even worse as the tech-heavy benchmark slumped by 1.3%
on the day, although it did finish Friday well off of its lows (see
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From a sector look, red was more or less throughout the market.
Basic materials, tech, and financials were the leaders on the
downside, while consumer, services, utilities, and health care held
up better than most in today's rocky session.
Thanks in part to this gloom, investors continued to pile into
the dollar, pushing the U.S. dollar index up almost $0.40, largely
thanks to a one cent gain against the euro. Meanwhile, Treasury
bill yields continued to fall, with the 10 year now paying out just
1.56% to investors (read
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While it might have been positive in the bond and currency
markets, investors continued to see weakness and volatility in the
commodity world, led by more weakness in precious metals, and
especially, energy products. Natural gas fell by over 5.6% on the
day while WTI crude sunk by 3.5%, while grains also saw weakness
for the first day in quite some time as corn, wheat, and soybeans
were all lower on the session.
ETF trading was pretty light on the Friday session as the
combination of the end of the week and the midweek holiday kept
many traders on the sidelines. Still, investors did see decent
volume in a number of commodity products, the semiconductor sector,
and a few emerging market funds as well.
In particular, investors saw a robust trading day for the
iShares MSCI EMU Index Fund (
. This product usually does about 366,000 shares in a normal day
but did volume of nearly 3.5 million shares during Friday's session
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Yet while the volume was robust, the vast majority of it was
thanks to a single block trade of nearly 2.9 million shares around
10am Eastern Time. If investors take this out of the equation, it
probably becomes just an average trading day for EZU.
Still this is somewhat remarkable as the product is becoming
increasingly in focus thanks to ongoing European troubles,
especially in Spain and Italy. Due to this, EZU on its impressive
volume, fell by about 2.6% to close out the week.
Another fund that was in focus on the day was once again in the
agricultural ETF market as grain prices finally receded during
Friday's session. This was especially the case for the
PowerShares DB Agriculture Double Long ETN (
which saw volume nearly four times the daily average (see
USAG In Focus As Agricultural Commodity ETFs
This huge boost in trading interest was mostly concentrated in
the first part of the session as a number of relatively large
blocks moved the product in the first hour. Still, the ETN finished
the day lower by about 3.7% as grain and soft commodity prices
tumbled across the board, led by large losses in wheat, corn,
coffee, cocoa, and soybeans during the rocky session.
(see more in the
DB-AG DBL LONG (DAG): ETF Research Reports
ISHARS-EMU IDX (EZU): ETF Research Reports
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