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Energy Rally Buoys U.S. Stock ETFs But Solar Sector Gets Torched

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Major stock ETFs turned modest gains at Tuesday's open into big wins at the close, as a bounce in oil and upbeat earnings from drugmaker Allergan ( AGN ) heartened investors.

Energy led advancing S&P 500 sectors, up 1.8%. Oil futures rose as supply bottlenecks in China and Nigeria outweighed persistent concerns about a global supply glut, according to news reports. West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery settled nearly 3% higher at $44.55 a barrel.

Guggenheim Solar ( TAN ) gave up 1%, extending last week's losses and teetering toward its February low.

Still, its performance underscored the diversification benefits of ETFs, which hold a basket of stocks.

SolarCity ( SCTY ), a top-five holding, sank 21% after reporting a larger-than-expected quarterly loss late Monday. The company slashed the outlook for installations.

TAN is now mired 55% below the 52-week high of 48.56. It holds 23 stocks.

A decision last year by Nevada regulators to reduce net-metering payments to solar customers forced the company to exit that state and has made some customers reluctant to install solar, SolarCity said.

SolarCity is an installation leader in the residential market, along with top rival Sunrun ( RUN ), which reports May 12. Sunrun has also exited Nevada.

No. 3 holding First Solar ( FSLR ) continues to reel after missing Q1 sales views and following the resignation of CEO Jim Hughes. The stock hit a 52-week high of 74.29 in mid-March but has now cratered to its lowest level since late October.

Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) popped 1.8% on the stock market today but sits 19% off its 52-week high set a year ago.

United States Oil (USO), a commodity ETF investing in near-month WTI crude oil futures, added 2.9%.

On the IBD Leaderboard, SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) eked out a 0.3% gain. GLD sits 1% below a 122.47 buy point.

The ETF tracks the price of gold .

12 Bellwether ETFs

Here's a look at how major exchange traded funds -- tracking various asset classes and ranked by average daily dollar volume -- performed today.

Following daily ETF market action can be key to successful investing:

SPDR S&P 500 (SPY), +1.2%, RS 61

IShares Russell 2000 (IWM), +1.0%, RS 53

PowerShares QQQ (QQQ), +1.4%, RS 53

SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), +0.3%, RS 75

IShares MSCI EAFE (EFA), +1.4%, RS 36

IPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures (VXX), -4.9%, RS 6

SPDR Dow Jones industrial average (DIA), +1.3%, RS 61

Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets (VWO), +2.0%, RS 36

United States Oil (USO), +2.9%, RS 26

IShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond (AGG), 0%, RS 49

IShares Core S&P Mid-Cap (IJH), +1.2%, RS 64

PowerShares DB U.S.$ Bullish (UUP), +0.1%, RS 31

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


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

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