ETF/No Load Fund Tracker StatSheet
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Friday, March 29, 2013
S&P 500, DOW HIT RECORD HIGHS ON GDP DATA; EUROPE STOCKS UP FOR A SECOND MONTH
US stock indexes closed higher, wrapping up a strong first quarter Thursday with the S&P 500 and the Dow industrials finishing at a new high as US economic expansion slowed less than previously estimated and worries over Europe’s debt crisis abated.
Equities gained after the open as a revised Commerce Department report in Washington showed gross domestic product rose at a 0.4 percent annual clip in the final three months of 2012, up from a 0.1 percent previous estimate and following a 3.1 percent pace in the third quarter.
However, on a downbeat note, first-time jobless claims climbed by 16,000 to 357,000 in the week ended March 23, the highest in over a month.
And, a gauge of business activity in the Chicago region came in worse than expected. The Purchasing Managers Index dropped to 52.4 percent in March as new orders, order backlogs and inventories suffered setbacks. Economists had predicted a reading above 56 though any reading above 50 indicates expansion.
In Europe, the reopening of banks in Cyprus, after being closed for nearly two weeks, eased concerns about the region’s debt crisis. On a more upbeat note, German retail sales, after adjusting for seasonal swings and inflation, gained 0.4 percent month-on-month in February.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) added 52 points to end at 14,579, up 11.3 percent in the first quarter while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) rose 6 points to close at 1,569, surpassing its record close set in October 2007.
Treasuries were almost flat Thursday, with the benchmark 10-year yields trading around 1.85 percent as markets prepared for early closing and Cypriot banks reopened after nearly two weeks of turmoil.
Temporary capital control measures stemmed the flight to safety and a run on deposits, easing fears of a contagion in other financially-stressed eurozone countries.
European stocks posted broad gains Thursday, marking their 10th straight month of gains after data showed German retail sales gained unexpectedly in February and banks reopened in Cyprus without any panic.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index picked up 0.5 percent, capping its monthly gain at 1.3 percent.
Italy’s FTSE MIB index fell 0.1 percent and shed 3.7 percent for the month as the country failed to elect a government after February’s inconclusive elections.
German retail sales however, climbed unexpectedly in Feb., rising 0.4 percent, following a revised 3 percent rise in January. The DAX 30 index picked up 0.1 percent for the day and settled 2.4 percent higher on the quarter.
The FTSE 100 index added 0.4 percent, finishing the month 0.8 percent higher and gaining a whopping 8.7 percent on the quarter.
Our Trend Tracking Indexes (TTIs) continued their bullish trend but internationally the momentum has definitely slowed down. For the week, we closed as follows:
Domestic TTI: +3.96% (last week +3.50%)
International TTI: +8.13% (last week +8.40%)
Again, we will hold all equity ETF positions until our exit strategy signals otherwise.
Have a great week.
READER Q & A FOR THE WEEK
All Reader Q & A’s are listed at our web site!
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A note from reader Don:
Q: Ulli: Do you think ETN’s are better or worse than ETF’s?
A: Don: Personally, I don’t like ETNs. They are uncollaterized loans and expose investors to default risk of the issuing bank in addition to market risk. With ETFs, I only have to concern myself with trend direction.
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