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ETF News And Commentary

Stocks finally had a solid session, opening up the week on a strong note across the board. The Dow rose by about 1.1% while the S&P 500 added 1.6%, and the Nasdaq surged by nearly 2.5% on the day.

Gains were pretty widespread across the market’s various sectors with basic materials gaining pretty much across the board while tech was greatly helped by a 5.8% gain in shares of Apple. Meanwhile on the downside, consumer staples and health care were weak, while BAC and JPM again dragged down financials (read Avoid Big Bank Stocks With These Three Financial ETFs).

Meanwhile, currency markets were more mixed as the dollar index fell just below the $81 level as European currencies came back a little while the yen and Aussie dollar both weakened against the greenback in Monday trading. Bond trading, on the other hand, saw some outflows from the Treasury market as the ten year saw yields rise up to the 1.75% level, a three basis point move higher.

Commodity markets followed the mixed trading seen in the currency world, as most oil products rose while natural gas sank by nearly 4.5% softs were broadly lower again, although some strength was seen in the orange juice, rice, and soybean oil markets to open up the week. Copper was also a strong performer in the metals department while the precious metals weren’t quite as lucky, finishing the day modestly lower.

In ETF trading, many equity products experienced a day of solid volume, especially in the broad market, style box, and currency spaces. Meanwhile, most commodity products had lower trading levels while some international developed market funds also saw light trading as well.

It was a particularly solid day for mid cap ETFs as many products in this segment saw outsized volume, such as the Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund (VO - ETF report). This product usually sees volume of about 188,000 shares a day but experienced a spike to just over 570,000 in Monday’s session.

This volume came as a bullish trend was seen on the day for the popular ETF as the product gained 2.6% in the session. Still two large blocks of about 80,000 shares dominated the volume as some traders appear to be betting on the mid cap space for the time being (see Mid Cap ETF Investing 101).

Investors should also note that a number of other mid cap products also saw solid days on the volume front with many growth and value funds seeing more than double their daily average. Beyond this, the leveraged mid cap ETFs also saw strong volume days with the 3x bull fund seeing nearly 2.5 times the average.

Another fund that experienced a big jump in trading activity was the broad European ETF the Vanguard MSCI Europe Index Fund (VGK - ETF report). This product usually trades about 1.7 million shares in a normal session but experienced a jump to nearly 4.7 million to open up the week (see 11 Great Dividend ETFs).

This burst of volume was pretty widespread throughout the session and possibly came from investors and traders looking to scoop up beaten down European assets. In fact, VGK added about 2.6% on the session, helping to reverse some of the gloom and doom that has been plaguing products in the region for at least the past month.

(see more on ETFs in the Zacks ETF Center)

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