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ETF News And Commentary

U.S. markets slumped again in Tuesday trading as European worries and concerns over industrial demand weighed on stocks throughout the day. In particular, investors focused in on Cummins (CMI - Analyst Report) as the company warned on revenues thanks to weakness in its overseas division.

As a result, the Dow fell by about 0.7%, while the S&P 500 slumped by 0.8% on the day. The Nasdaq, however, lost about 1% in Tuesday trading, bucking the trend in Europe which saw most major benchmarks finish the day in the green (read Beyond Germany: Three European ETFs Tracking Strong Countries).

In terms of sectors, basic materials and big tech followed the industrial segment lower in Tuesday’s session, while consumer, biotech, telecom, and utilities managed to hold up in the rocky trading environment. In particular, investors saw heavy losses in the independent oil and gas segment along with a 2.3% loss from chip giant Intel as the company followed rival (AMD - Analyst Report) lower.

Thanks to the risk off trade, investors saw continued inflows into the U.S. dollar as the greenback added a bit against the European currencies although it lost a tad against the yen and the Aussie dollar. Meanwhile, the benchmark 10-year note ended the day with a slightly lower yield, coming in at 1.51% to close out Tuesday’s session.

Unsurprisingly given the mood in the markets, demand for commodities was light in today’s trading. All of the energy products slumped—led by a 4.5% loss in natural gas—while softs retreated a bit and metals were mixed (read Forget UNG: Try These Natural Gas ETFs Instead).

ETF trading was light yet again, as investors traded less-than-average amounts of shares in most of the commodity, emerging market, and U.S. broad funds during Tuesday trading. However, some outsized volumes were seen in the semiconductor, bond, Latin American, and global sector products during the uncertain trading day.

In particular, investors saw an outsized level of interest in the iShares MSCI All Peru Capped Index Fund (EPU - ETF report). This product usually does about 300,000 shares in a normal day but saw interest spike to just over one million shares during today’s session (read Forget the BRIC ETFs, Focus on the PICKs).

Interestingly, nearly none of the volume came during the first few hours of the day and was instead concentrated in the mid afternoon period for EPU. However, this burst of volume didn’t exactly help the fund as EPU finished the day lower by about 1.6%, leaving the fund pretty much flat for the trailing one month period.

Another product which was in focus during today’s trading was the SPDR S&P Semiconductor ETF (XSD - ETF report). This fund, like many other products in the semiconductor space, saw outsized trading volume on the day as three times as many shares changed hands as in a normal session (see Three Great Tech ETFs That Avoid Apple).

However, trading was concentrated into a few small blocks on the day, leaving much of the day void of volume. The product actually slid about 3.1% on the day as AMD sank by over 11.2%, pushing the rest of the space lower thanks to its warning on sales.

(see more in the Zacks ETF Center)

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