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European events were again in focus during Tuesday’s trading session as the Greek polls published over the weekend showed a pro-euro zone party leading an anti-bailout party ahead of next month's elections. Renewed hopes of Greece’s commitment to the monetary union pushed the markets higher earlier in the trading session with the Dow rising 157 points. Some reports from China regarding more monetary stimulus also helped the stocks.
However, the markets gave up parts of the earlier gains after rating agency Egan-Jones cut Spain’s credit rating third time in a month. U.S. economic data releases during the day were rather mixed.
According to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, the average home prices rose in 12 of the 20 cities that it tracks, though the overall index was down 2.6% year-over-year. Further the drop was not as sharp as in earlier months, renewing hopes that the housing prices were finally bottoming out. On the other hand, consumer confidence index suffered its biggest decline in eight months, indicating that Americans are still worried about declining home values, high unemployment and worsening global economic picture.
The Dow Jones finished the day higher by 1.01%, while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 rose 1.18% and 1.11% respectively. (Read: Try Value Investing With These Large Cap ETFs).
In terms of sectors, financials largely finished the day in the positive zone led by a 4.1% gain in Bank of America (BAC) shares. Capital goods, basic materials and technology sectors were also in the green. Caterpillar (CAT) was up 2.9%%, while HP (HPQ) was the major gainer in the tech sector, ending the day up 2.1%. Facebook (FB) declined further during the day, ending the day below $30 for the first time, 24% below its IPO price.
Currency markets continued to be in the US dollar’s favor, on the back of safe-haven buying resulting from growing threats for bailout for Spain. The ICE dollar index rose to 82.468, from 82.228, while the Euro was down to its nearly two-year low. (Read: Dollar and Yen ETFs To Benefit From the Greek Drama)
Gold and silver prices closed the day lower, while copper was slightly up. Oil prices continued to trend down but the losses were limited.
ETF trading was also mixed as investors saw more interest in European trading, as well as oil, financials, and global ETF segments as well.
Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (GREK - ETF report) was a big gainer for the day, ending the day up more than 6% while the volume jumped from about 12,800 to about 22,800 shares. iShares MSCI Spain Index (EWP - ETF report) was down 3.9% on bailout fears. (Read: Euro Small Cap ETFs The Way to Play Europe)
Latin America ETFs saw strong investors interest, with the iShares S&P Latin America 40 Index (ILF) trading 2.5 million shares in the day against an average of just about a million shares. There was a nice spike in the volume for iShares MSCI EAFE Small Cap Index (SCZ) also, which saw 1.1 million shares being traded against an average of about 0.3 million.
(See more in the Zacks ETF Center)