ETF Trading Report: Mexico, Health Care ETFs In Focus - ETF News And Commentary


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American equity markets finished the month of April on a down note as all the major benchmarks ended Monday trading in the red. A great deal of this selling pressure was due to a disappointing Chicago PMI while more uncertainty in Spain didn't help matters either.

In particular, pressure was heavy in the financial sector, as all of the five major banks finished the day lower by at least 1%. Major tech names also slumped although some big oil and health care names did manage to buck the trend and finish in the green. Overall, the Dow fell by about 0.1% while the broader indexes suffered bigger losses; the S&P 500 fell by 0.4% while the Nasdaq retreated by 0.7% on the day.

Currency markets saw a mixed end to the month as the euro and pound were flat against the dollar. Meanwhile, the greenback did face some more weakness against the yen and the Aussie dollar although the benchmark U.S. dollar index did still manage to finish in the green in Monday's session (see Bet Against the Dollar With These Three Currency ETFs ).

Commodity markets were also mixed to positive in on the day as natural gas was another star performer, outpacing the rest of the products in the energy space. However, investors continue to see broad selling in many soft commodities although precious and industrial metals remained range bound to start the week.

ETF trading was again light across some of the most popular products in the equity world, although heavier trading was seen in some of the commodity ETFs. Beyond this, investors also saw outsized trading in several health care, global sector, and Latin American ETFs.

One ETF that was especially in focus from a trading perspective was the iShares MSCI Mexico Index Fund ( EWW ) despite finishing the day flat. In trading, the fund saw over 3.7 million shares change hands, a huge departure from the usual 2.5 million that are moved in a day (see Three ETFs with Incredible Diversification ).

Possibly, traders are continuing to position themselves in this popular Latin America fund after a host of other ETFs focused on the region saw huge volumes as well. Additionally, it has been reported that EWW has seen large outflows in recent sessions , suggestion that more selling pressure could be hitting the product in the coming days.

Another ETF that experienced outsized volume to start the week was the iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare Fund ( IYH ) . This product usually sees volume around the 52,700 mark but saw trading of about 322,000 shares to finish April trading (see Three Low Beta Sector ETFs ).

This fund undoubtedly saw higher levels of interest thanks to a bump in trading in some of the biggest health care names. This was especially true of Pfizer and Merck-two of the top three components-as well as top six component UnitedHealth. All three of these companies were big movers on the day as MRK and UNH both saw changes in excess of 2% (including a -3% move for UNH), to close out April trading.

(see more on ETF trading at the Zacks ETF Center )

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , ETFs

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