Markets again saw light volume levels as investors focused in on
Hurricane Isaac and patiently await any reports from Ben Bernanke
at Jackson Hole later in the week. Thanks to this, markets
oscillated around breakeven for much of the day, as the Dow lost
about 0.2%, the S&P 500 fell by 0.1% and the Nasdaq was the
lone winner adding 0.1% on the day.
From a sector perspective, big banks and some of the larger tech
names were losers during today's session, while energy names,
staples, and consumer stocks led the way in Tuesday trading. Of
individual names, HPQ lost about 1.8%, while Carnival Corp (CCL)
was one of the biggest winners, adding 3% on the day (read
Singapore ETFs for the Rise of Asia
This flat trading was continued by more light volume in the
forex market as well, as the dollar lost slightly against many of
the world's top currencies. Still, the U.S. 10 year note lost a bit
more in yield, falling to 1.64%, while a similar trend was seen in
the German and British government bond markets as well.
For the most part, commodities held their breath during Tuesday
trading as investors waited to see the damage caused by Isaac in
the Gulf and also the rain that the storm drops across the
drought-stricken plain states. Beyond this trend, investors also
say a 2.9% increase in sugar prices, and a 3.8% move higher in the
American cocoa market, pushing these two to the top of the charts
on the day (read
Will There Be a WTO Boost for Russia ETFs?
Meanwhile, relative ETF volume was yet again light as SPY and
GLD both traded about half as much as normal on the day. Major
emerging market funds, dollar and bond products also saw similarly
light days as we get into the true dog days of August before volume
hopefully picks back up next week.
Still, investors saw a solid amount of interest in the
United States 12 Month Natural Gas Fund (
as the product traded roughly five times more than normal on the
day. Clearly, the interest came thanks to Isaac and the prospect of
the storm knocking out valuable supplies to the region, although it
should be noted that UNG didn't see a similarly large amount of
trading on the day (read
the Comprehensive Guide to Natural Gas ETFs
Instead, it appears as though investors focused in on UNL and
its more diversified holdings profile which allocates assets across
12 different maturities. This focus helped to push UNL down over
2.1% on the day, far more than the 1.5% loss that UNG suffered.
Possibly this suggests that investors are looking for supplies to
be less effected even just six weeks out, implying that traders
aren't buying into long term damage for natural gas
Another fund that saw a solid amount of trading in the light
the iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund (
. The product does about 238,000 shares in volume on a normal day
but saw more than 600,000 shares change hands in Tuesday trading
Time to Exit the South Africa ETF?
Mining troubles are continuing in the nation, while there are
also worries that
may come in less than expected in the large country. Thanks to
these worries and some hesitation over the long-term health in
the basic materials market, investors may be getting more
concerned over investing in the country, as evidenced by today's
loss and the recent short-term decline in EZA.
(see more in the
ISHARS-S AFRICA (EZA): ETF Research Reports
US-12M NATL GAS (UNL): ETF Research Reports
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