Equity markets took investors for a roller-coaster ride Wednesday as selling pressures in the morning were eventually overturned by bullish fever in the afternoon. On Wall Street, the Nasdaq charged ahead, gaining 0.39% on the day, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average just barely missed the green, settling 0.05% lower as the trading session drew to a close. Gold and oil both climbed higher amidst the flurry of trading activity; futures prices for these commodities settled near $1,560 an ounce and $90.50 a barrel respectively.
Investors cheered on better-than-expected housing market data on the home front. New home sales in April came in at 343,000 versus the expected 335,000, while also sailing past last month's reading of 332,000. FHFA home prices data also painted an optimistic look for the domestic real estate recovery; this figure came in at 1.8%, easily beating last month's reading of 0.3%. Looming eurozone debt woes continue to weigh down on investors' confidence as the possibility of Greece exiting the euro appears to growing.
The Van Eck Market Vectors Gold Miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) was one of the best performers, gaining an impressive 4.47% on the day. Selling pressures dragged this ETF to a low of $41.3 a share, although buying euphoria in the afternoon propelled GDX as high as $44.42 a share. Above average trading volumes came in at the end of the day as buying pressures increased, which may suggest that more upside is likely for this ETF in the foreseeable future.
The Barclays iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) was one of the worst performers, shedding 1.65% on the day. Uncertainty levels jumped as the opening bell rang, with the Volatility Index climbing as high as 24.62 only to turn lower in the afternoon. Despite the impressive rally to end the day, the VIX remains above the 22 level, which means that another round of selling should not be ruled out as a possibility.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.
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