Markets

Not Even $50 Oil Takes The Edge Off Nervous Markets Ahead Of Fed

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Major stock ETFs simmered quietly Thursday after recent bullish gains as investors eyed the Fed. Oil poked above $50 a barrel before reversing lower, providing short-lived relief to frayed nerves.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures for June delivery rose to $50.21 in early trade, the highest since mid-October, according to news reports. Outages in Nigeria and Canada have sapped U.S. crude stockpiles, official energy data released Wednesday show.

SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Explorers and Producers ( XOP ) gave up early gains of as much as 1.3% on the stock market today as crude turned lower.

The ETF still sits 28% below its 52-week high, set nearly a year ago.

United States Oil ( USO ), a commodity ETF investing in near-month WTI futures, also reversed to a 0.4% loss intraday.

While the energy sector wobbled Thursday, defensively oriented utilities and consumer staples marched higher.

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ( XLP ) climbed 0.5% as top-10 holding Costco ( COST ) got an earnings boost. The stock jumped nearly 6% after the discount retailer's Q3 report.

Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ) dropped 0.4% in morning trade. Bank stocks fell amid some likely profit-taking after notching 2016 highs Thursday.

Investors remain wary ahead of a keenly watched event featuring Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen at Harvard University Friday. Her speech may shed light on Fed thinking about the path of interest-rate hikes. Financial stocks and ETFs have been volatile recently in the midst of policy uncertainty.

12 Bellwether ETFs

Here's a look at how major exchange traded funds, tracking various asset classes, are performing today.

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

SPDR S&P 500 (SPY), +0.1%, RS 62

PowerShares QQQ (QQQ), +0.2%, RS 54

SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA), 0%, RS 62

IShares Core S&P Mid-Cap (IJH), +0.2%, RS 66

IShares Russell 2000 (IWM), +0.1%, RS 50

IShares MSCI EAFE (EFA), +0.4%, RS 41

Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets (VWO), +0.5%, RS 33

SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), +0.1%, RS 62

United States Oil ( USO ), -0.3%, RS 62

IShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond (AGG), +0.1%, RS 45

PowerShares DB U.S.$ Bullish (UUP), -0.3%, RS 30

IPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures (VXX), -1.1%, RS 4

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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COST XLP USO XOP XLF

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