Stock Index ETFs Nail Another Gain; Health Stocks Lead

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The major stock index ETFs shot to fresh all-time highs Wednesday, with their strings of gains increasing to the fifth to ninth days.

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ) was up 0.5% Wednesday. It's in its seventh day of straight gains, having gained 2% since Feb. 6 and 5% since the beginning of the year.

PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was up 0.6%. It's in its ninth day of straight gains, having risen 2.7% since Feb. 2 and 8.6% so far this year.

The health care sector was the top contributor to the S&P 500's gain. Health Care Select Sector SPDR ( XLV ) surged 1.1%. Top holdings Pfizer ( PFE ) leapt 2.3%, Amgen ( AMGN ) 2.2% and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) rose 0.7%

ETFs tracking the financial sector notched another strong day. Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) was up 0.8%. Among its holdings, big gainers were Bank of America (BAC), up 2.6%, Charles Schwab (SCHW) 2.2%, Citigroup (C) 1.1%, Morgan Stanley (MS) 1.0%, Wells Fargo (WFC) 1.0% and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) 1.1%.

[ibdchart symbol="bac" type="daily" size="threequarter" position="leftchart" ]

But American International Group (AIG) dove 9% after reporting a loss of $2.72 per share for Q4. The insurer's stock crashed through its 50-day moving average down to near its 200-day line.

Energy and real estate were the two worst performing sectors, continuing lower for the second day in a row. Energy Select Sector (XLE) was off 0.4% and Real Estate Select Sector (XLRE )was off 0.3%. Fed Chair Janet Yellen's hawkish comments about interest rates put downward pressure on rate-sensitive sectors. XLRE is testing support at its 50-day moving averages.

Gold was trading tightly for the third day in a row, just above its 10-day moving average. SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) was up 0.4% at 117.45.

12 Bellwether ETFs

Here's a look at the performance of major exchange traded funds across key asset classes on the stock market today.

The Relative Price Strength (RS) Rating measures a stock's price performance over the last 12 months vs. all stocks and ETFs, on a scale of 1 to a best-possible 99.

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ), +0.5%, RS 55

PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ), +0.6%, RS 64

SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA), +0.6%, RS 60

IShares Core S&P Mid-Cap (IJH), +0.3%, RS 64

IShares Russell 2000 (IWM), +0.6%, RS 70

IShares MSCI EAFE (EFA), +0.4%, RS 38

Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets (VWO), +0.7%, RS 60

SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), +0.4%, RS 20

United States Oil (USO), -0.2%, RS 52

IShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond (AGG), -021%, RS 20

PowerShares DB U.S.$ Bullish (UUP), -0.2%, RS 34

IPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures (VXX), +3.1%, RS 1


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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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