American stocks began the week on a winning note, although many
of the gains evaporated on a light volume day in the final hour of
the session. Thanks to this trend, the Dow and S&P 500 finished
the day higher by just 0.2% each, while the Nasdaq held up a little
better, adding 0.7% to start the week.
In terms of sector performances, no one segment stood out,
although big banks, tech, and smaller oil firms all were among the
leaders. On the downside, big pharma, staples, and utilities were
seen leading the way, while some of the smaller financial firms
were also in the red during the first session of the week.
Still, the dollar was pretty much flat against many of the
world's major currencies while European bond rates declined across
the board in both the safe haven and risky economies in the region.
Meanwhile, commodities were surprisingly resilient on the day, as
crude oil added about 0.7% while gold also rose, but just by $4/oz.
in Monday trading (read
Beyond Corn: Three Surging Commodity ETFs
In the world of ETFs, volume was shockingly light for many of
the top products, as SPY, GLD, and QQQ, all saw volume less than
half of their usual averages. However, volume wasn't that light
across the entire segment, as a few European funds, currency ETFs,
and bond products traded more than normal in Monday's session.
One fund that saw a great deal of added volume was the
iShares S&P Developed Markets ex U.S Property Index
. This product usually does just over 19,600 shares in volume but
saw a spike to over 330,000 shares in Monday trading (See
Real Estate ETFs: Unexpected Safe Haven
However, investors should note that heavy block trading at the
beginning of the session made up the vast majority of this daily
volume, leaving just a smattering of shares to change hands over
the next several hours. Still, the fund didn't really move that
much higher on the volume increase, adding 0.5% on the day. While
this was enough to beat out others in the space, it did help propel
WPS even closer to its 52 week high.
Another ETF that saw a great deal of interest was the
iShares MSCI EMU Index Fund (
. This product usually has volume just over 465,000 shares but saw
more than 2.8 million shares move hands during this session (read
Play Europe with this ETF Pair Trade
This volume increase as well as the solid performance out of the
Spanish market undoubtedly were some of the main drivers for EZU's
1.3% gain on the day. It also didn't hurt that bond yields fell
below 6% for Italy while they slide under the 6.75% mark for Spain,
suggesting less worries over these troubled countries and more
demand for equities, at least for now.
(see more in the
ISHARS-EMU IDX (EZU): ETF Research Reports
ISHARS-SP WRLD (WPS): ETF Research Reports
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