Major Market ETFs Surge As Greece Inches Towards Debt-Swap; EWD Gains, GAZ Tanks

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U.S. stocks surged on Thursday as the deadline for the history’s greatest sovereign debt-swap exercise, also crucial for Greece to secure the next-round of bailout money, passed.

Thursday’s deal is the (alleged) final barrier to Athens’ securing the second round of bailout money from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union to avoid a messy default weeks later. As risk appetite improved, Treasuries slumped for the second day due to weak demand for US government securities.

Yields on 10-year notes climbed 0.03 percentage points to 2.01 percent in the day’s trading while 30-year yields rose 0.04 percentage points to 3.17 percent. Ahead of tomorrow’s US payrolls data, Treasuries had briefly rallied as the Fed purchased $5.1 billion of US securities maturing between Aug. 2020 and Aug. 2021.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) added 0.6 percent to end at 12,907.94, its second successive day of gains.   The S&P 500 Index (SPX) added 13.28 points to close at 1365.91.

The tech-laden NASDAQ Composite (COMP) climbed 1.2 percent to 2935.69.

First-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended on March 3 were higher at 362,000, a jump of 8,000 over the prior week.

ETFs in the news:

As the Greece deadlock inches towards a settlement, Europe has taken the market lead. The iShares MSCI Sweden Index Fund (EWD) is up 4.01 percent on the day, though it’s still lower due to the early week debacle.

Investor confidence is improving in the emerging markets with the Guggenheim China Small Cap ETF (HAO) adding 2.87 percent for the day.

Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN) took a breather after 6 days of consecutive losses and added 2.26 percent for the day.

Among the day’s top losers, the iPath Dow Jones UBS Natural Gas Subindex Total Return ETN (GAZ) is down for the fourth day on the trot, losing 2.27 percent.

Investor fear, as measured by the Volatility Index (VIX), is lower as Europe continues to improve. The iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (VXX) lost 3.76 percent on the day as the VIX benchmark dropped to beginning-March levels.

Oil for April delivery moved up marginally by 56 cents to $106.16 a barrel and Gold futures for April delivery rose for the second successive day by adding $11.80 to close at $1,683.90 an ounce.

Disclosure: No holdings

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