Stocks were choppy in Wednesday's session as the end of the Fed
meeting dominated the headlines. Bernanke and Co. offered up the
markets an Operation Twist continuation with
in longer-term bond purchases through the end of the year.
Stocks were very volatile right after the announcement, and then
again around 3pm eastern during some of the Fed's press conference
before rising to close out the session. Overall the Dow fell
by 0.1%, while the S&P 500 slumped by 0.2% and the Nasdaq
managed to finish in the green by two points.
In terms of sector performances, energy, consumer, and utilities
were down on the session while some names in tech and most of the
big banks finished in the green. Specifically, investors saw a
solid day in JPM but a nearly 3% loss out of personal goods maker
Thanks to the Fed-induced volatility, bond rates were quite
shaky throughout the curve. Debt rates rose pretty much across the
board with mid range debt seeing modest increases although the 10
and 30 year varieties hardly moved at all on the session (read
Mid Cap ETF Investing 101
Commodities were also shaky thanks to the uncertainty in the
currency market, helping to push all of the energy and metals
stocks lower on the day. Some soft commodities also followed this
path lower, but investors did see strength in corn, wheat, and
soybeans, as the hot weather continues across much of the
Due to the end of the FOMC meeting, investors did see strong
volume in a number of products. Many of the major equity ETFs saw
volume that exceeded daily averages with high trading amounts
coming especially in the energy and U.S. large cap markets.
In particular, investors saw an outsized level of interest in
PowerShares DB G10 Currency Harvest Fund (
. This product usually sees volume of about 200,000 shares in a
normal session while today's activity reached the one million share
China Currency ETFs: Slow and Steady in 2012?
However, it should be noted that most of this volume came in a
block trade in the first hour of the session with a 478,000 share
block. Clearly, a large investor was using this currency ETF-which
has heavy exposure to a number of developed market currencies-as an
interesting play ahead of the Fed meeting.
Still, the product finished the day ahead by just 0.4% as the
Fed failed to announce any truly new stimulus measures and instead
offered up a smaller extended version of 'Operation Twist'
Another product that saw a great deal of outsized activity was
Vanguard MSCI Europe ETF (
. This ETF usually trades about 1.9 million shares a day but
experienced a spike to just over 5.7 million during today's session
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This fund appears to have been in focus not only on the Fed and
its subsequent Q&A session, but also the G20 in Mexico as well.
The pressure was on European members during this conference of 20
of the most powerful economies in the world, but it still remains
uncertain how Europe will proceed.
Thanks to these events, VGK was mostly flat on the day, save for
some Fed inspired volatility around 12:45pm. Beyond that, the
product was mostly range bound and ended the session higher by
(see more on ETFs at the
PWRSH-DB G10 CU (DBV): ETF Research Reports
VIPERS-M EUROPN (VGK): ETF Research Reports
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