U.S. equity markets struggled in Tuesday's trading session as
worries over European woes led to a spike in volatility and a
decline in stock prices. The Dow finished the session down 1.7%
while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also fell by similar
The dollar did manage to strengthen on these worries as a safe
haven alternative, pushing the currency higher against many of its
international counterparts. This helped to push the benchmark ten
year note down below the 2.0% yield level, a seven basis point
slump for the intermediate term bond rate.
Thanks to this flight from risk, commodities were also broadly
under pressure during Tuesday's session. Energy commodities were
down across the board on fears of lower demand while investors
pulled out of soft commodities thanks to risk aversion. Seemingly
the only products that did well were in the precious metals space
thanks to higher demand for safe havens.
In ETF trading, a number of leveraged, inverse, small cap, and
European products saw outsized trading volumes on the day. This
came as investors looked to position their portfolios more
defensively yet again, or take advantage of the bearish near term
trend in the market (read
HDGE: The Active Bear ETF Under The Microscope
In terms of outsized relative trading volumes in ETFs, several
products in the growth segment stood out in particular. The
iShares S&P 500 Growth Index Fund (
iShares Russell 1000 Growth Index Fund (
both saw trading volumes that were nearly triple their averages.
Unfortunately for those invested in the large cap growth ETF space,
this wasn't exactly bullish volume as both products were down more
than 1.5% in the session.
In the European ETF space, a big mover on the relative volume
front was the
iShares MSCI Austria Index Fund (
. The product usually sees trading volume of about 100,000 shares a
day but experienced volumes in excess of 1.1 million shares today,
largely thanks to continued European woes (see
Hungarian Crisis Crushes The Austria ETF
Due to this, EWO sank by about 2% on the day, marking an 8.7%
slump over the past five trading sessions, slightly outpacing broad
euro zone ETFs in the time frame. The ETF is being hampered by its
high financial exposure and the twin issues of the PIIGS and its
weak neighbor, Hungary. Until these problems are resolved,
investors could see outsized trading volumes and weakness in this
central European ETF going forward.
See in-depth ETF articles at the
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