American stock markets had another lackluster session, as
equities slumped in the first hour but then made back all of their
losses and finished the day at breakeven. In fact, the Dow was the
'biggest' mover with a four point loss, as the other two major
benchmarks lost less than one point on the day.
From a sector perspective, banks, health care and utilizes led
the way higher, while telecoms, independent oil companies and
industrial good firms all were big losers. In terms of standouts,
Best Buy and Lowe's were big losers, as Apple added 2.6% to become
biggest company of all-time
, surpassing Microsoft's 1999 peak value of $620.58 billion (see
ETF Shocker: Russell to Close 25 Funds
Forex and bond markets were a tad more active as the dollar lost
about 0.1% while the U.S. ten year note saw yields slip one basis
point as well. Meanwhile in Europe, German notes rose by a basis
point while Spain and Italy again saw yields fall, this time with
Spanish yields sinking to the 6.25% mark for mid-term debt.
Commodity markets were again volatile although they did move to
the positives for the most part. Natural gas added about 2% along
with similar moves in the corn, cotton, and soybean markets, while
for the downside, lumber, copper, and Brent crude finished in the
In ETF trading, investors again saw a very light volume day
across most of the major equity products. However, there were some
better trading levels in the commodity market, while a few other
emerging market and bond products also saw solid trading levels as
One fund in particular that saw an increased level of interest
on the day was the
ETF Securities Physical Platinum Shares (
. This product usually does about 50,000 shares in a normal day but
saw more than 164,000 shares change hands in Monday trading (read
Time to Exit The South Africa ETF?
A large reason for this outsized interest was because of the
ongoing tension in the main producing country of the metal, South
Africa. The country saw a large strike turn deadly as 34 were
killed by police a few days ago, a situation which raised the
stakes for the turbulent nation.
Roughly 30% of the main mine's workforce
returned to work on Monday, but obviously more tensions could be
seen in the weeks ahead while platinum supplies could be curtailed.
Thanks to this, investors bid up PPLT again today, pushing the five
day return for this metal ETF to 6.6%.
Another fund which saw a higher-than-normal level of volume was
SPDR S&P Insurance ETF (
. The product usually does about 54,000 shares in volume in a
normal session but saw about 173,000 shares move hands in Monday's
Is it Time for an Equal Weight ETF?
Volume was pretty spread out in the session, although investors
did see some rather large block trades change hands around the
mid-day period. Still, the fund finished the day higher by just
0.3%, continuing the relatively positive trend that this safe
sector has seen so far this summer. Interestingly, some of the
other insurance ETFs also saw above-average volume, but none saw as
much as the equal-weighted KIE did in today's trading.
(see more in the
SPDR-KBW INSUR (KIE): ETF Research Reports
ETFS-PLATINUM (PPLT): ETF Research Reports
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