The major story on Monday came out of Washington, where president Obama released a highly-anticipated $3.8 trillion budget that raises $2 trillion in taxes and cuts spending on dozens of federal program. The controversial budget sets the stage for months of debate and horse trading on Capitol Hill. Elsewhere, the U.S. factory sector recorded its best performance in more than five years and Exxon impressed analysts with its latest earnings report.
The ETFdb 60 Index gained 10.50 points, or 1.1%, to close at 1,010.11. The ETFdb 60 Index lost 3.3% in January after starting the month on a hot streak.
Leading the way higher on Monday was the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA:GDX), which added 5.5% on a rise in gold prices and flood of bargain hunting money into the fund. GDX was among January’s best performers, losing more than 11% on the month as falling bullion prices and slumping markets created a perfect storm over gold mining stocks. The Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA:GDXJ) added more than 7% on the day, while GLD added 2.3%.
Another big winner on Monday was the United States Natural Gas Fund (NYSEARCA:UNG), which added 5.3% in the first session of the month. The rise in gas prices was primarily attributable to news that manufacturing activity grew for the sixth consecutive month in January to its highest point since 2004. The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index read 58.4 in January, compared with 54.9 in December and consensus analyst estimates of only 55.5. A reading above 50 indicates growth, while a reading below 50 indicates a contraction in the sector.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.