Major index ETFs crept up in choppy trade Wednesday as a sharp fall in utilities offset a late surge in oil prices .
The CBOE Volatility Index, or "fear index," fell more than 3% to its lowest point since early August before reversing.
Utilities Select Sector SPDR ( XLU ) tumbled 2.5%, finishing near session lows but getting support just above the 50-day moving average of 47.88. The reason for the sharp decline was unclear.
Apple ( AAPL ) chip supplier Qualcomm ( QCOM ) fell a fraction following its earnings report after the close. Qualcomm stock had nudged up in the regular session. It sits 26% below the 52-week high of 71.32.
Chipmaker Mellanox ( MLNX ) closed up 2.1% but tumbled more than 4% after hours. The IBD Leaderboard stock reported a Q1 loss of $7.2 million after the bell, Reuters reported.
Global X Silver Miners (SIL) turned a 1.3% intraday gain into a 1.2% loss at the close. The action came a day after SIL gapped upped 9%.
"Traders stepped in to buy the dip in (gold) prices, as the yellow metal remains in an overall bullish near-term technical posture," Kitco senior technical analyst Jim Wyckoff wrote early Wednesday. "The big rally in the silver market this week -- in which prices hit a 10.5-month high Wednesday -- is also working in favor of the gold market bulls."
SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) also reversed to an 0.5% loss. The IBD Leaderboard ETF is back near an aggressive 119 entry, drawn from a short-term trend line.
Financials and energy led advancing S&P 500 sectors Wednesday. Defensively oriented utilities and consumer staples trailed.
IPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX), which tracks an index with exposure to futures contracts on the CBOE Volatility Index, rose 0.5% but continued to trade near a 52-week low.
Gains for the VXX tend to reflect a more bearish turn in investor sentiment.
11 Bellwether ETFs
Here's a look at how the major exchange traded funds tracking various asset classes performed today.
Following daily ETF market action can be key to successful investing:
SPDR S&P 500 (SPY), +0.1%, RS 61
PowerShares QQQ (QQQ), +0.1%, RS 57
SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA), +0.2%, RS 65
IShares Core S&P Mid-Cap (IJH), +0.1%, RS 65
IShares Russell 2000 (IWM), +0.1%, RS 46
IShares MSCI EAFE (EFA), +0.1%, RS 46
Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets (VWO), -0.6%, RS 54
SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), -0.5%, RS 73
IShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond (AGG), -0.2%, RS 42
PowerShares DB U.S.$ Bullish (UUP), +0.6%, RS 27
IPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures (VXX), +0.5%, RS 7
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