ETFs Retreat Ahead of Memorial Day Weekend

Includes: FXE, IYJ, UNG, XRT
by: Tom Lydon

Stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) retreated early Friday ahead of the market’s three-day holiday weekend, with the end of a volatile May putting the Dow Jones down 7% for the month.

The modest dip in major indexes Friday morning is a stark contrast to the turbulent month for investors. Continued and increasing concerns about Europe’s debt worries were the main cause of lower stocks in May, as the euro has been dictating market performance and become a gauge for confidence in the continent’s economy. The currency fell modestly Friday to $1.2343, not quite as alarming as the four-year low investors dealt with in May.

  • CurrencyShares Euro Trust (NYSEARCA:FXE)

(Click to enlarge)

Amid all the glum news, there are little rays of light. One of them is that business activity in the United States expanded in May for the eighth consecutive month. This is a good signal that the market’s volatility has so far not spread out to manufacturing and industrial sectors. The index fell to 59.7 from the previous month, but any number above 50 still indicates growth.

  • iShares Dow Jones U.S. Industrials (NYSEARCA:IYJ)

(Click to enlarge)

Financially speaking, consumers are getting more optimistic as income gains continue, represented in the Personal Income and Outlays report released Friday morning, which posted a 0.4% increase in personal income in April. However, after strong growth in spending the prior two months, April saw the consumer take a break, with overall personal consumption falling flat after a 0.6% rise in March, and 0.5% in February. YOY, personal income growth came in at 2.5% for April, slipping from the 2.8% in growth from March.


(Click to enlarge)

Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.B) said Friday that it struck a deal to buy most of the assets of East Resources for $4.7 billion, allowing a move into the coveted sector of natural gas contained in shale deposits. Shell is getting 1.05 million acres of so-called tight gas properties in North America. The largest oil and gas producer in Europe, Shell saw its shares increase by 0.36% in late morning trading Friday.

United States Natural Gas (NYSEARCA:UNG)

(Click to enlarge)

Disclosure: No positions

About this article:

Want to share your opinion on this article? Add a comment.
Disagree with this article? .
To report a factual error in this article, click here