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
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
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
One ETF that was especially in focus from a trading perspective
iShares MSCI Mexico Index Fund (
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
iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare Fund (
. 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
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