Equity indexes tumbled lower across the board as selling pressures spilled over from last week. Investors expressed concerns over last Friday’s employment report, which came in worse-than-expected, despite the fact that Wall Street was on break in observance of Good Friday. On the home front, the S&P 500 Index led the way lower, shedding 1.14% to start off the week, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average held its ground best, losing 1% on the day.
With no major economic data releases taking place today, investors took the time to react to last Friday’s disappointing jobs report. Although the unemployment rate in the U.S. dipped to 8.2% from its previous reading at 8.3%, the payroll data missed the mark. Employers on the home front added 120,000 jobs last month, which came in below analyst expectations of around 200,000. In international news, China CPI came in above expectations. Inflation in the booming Asian country came in at 3.6%, sailing past estimates of 3.4% as well as the previous reading of 3.2%.
The Barclays iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX) was one of the best performers, gaining 6.27% on the day, bolstered by uncertainty spilling over from last week’s concerning jobs data. Profit taking pressures spread far and wide across equity markets on Monday as investors expressed concerns about the economic recovery. Selling pressures were further bolstered by the fact that the recent FOMC meeting gave no hints of additional stimulus like many had hoped for.
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The PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy Portfolio (PBW) was one of the worst performers, shedding 2.29% on the day. Profit taking pressures prompted investors to pull of out “riskier” asset classes, including this ETF which offers exposure to Alternative Energy Equities. With no significant fundamental developments taking place in the energy sector on Monday, it’s fair to say that PBW sank alongside equities as investors broadly scaled back their risk appetites.
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