After a strong three-day winning streak, investors seemingly took a breather today as markets struggled to find a definitive direction. U.S. equities zigzagged in a narrow range, dipping periodically in and out of red territory. Perhaps an appropriate analogy for today would be comparing the price action onWall Street to the world's most boring roller coaster ride. And as the drama of the global economic slowdown continues to unfold, investors are willing to stay on this dismal ride, waiting for central bankers across the globe to kick it into high gear. Since August is known to be a generally slow months for the markets, it will be interesting to see who will come outvictoriousfrom this global waiting game. Time to start placing bets, will it be team Draghi or Bernanke? .
Global Market Overview: CORN Soaring, Markets Still Boring
U.S. equities closed narrowly mixed during today's lackluster trading session.Tech-heavy Nasdaq came in at the bottom of the barrel, nudgingQQQ down 0.05%.The Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA) and S&P 500 SPDR (SPY) managed to squeeze out small gains. European and Asian equities also struggled to find definitive directions today.
Bond ETF Roundup
Treasuries prices slid once again today after a government auction failed to attract significant demand. The dismal sale of $24 billion 10-year debt notes sent selling momentum into the broader market, putting further downward pressure on prices. Despite the obvious lack of interest, analysts alsobelievethat today's better-than-expected economic productivity report had a significant impact on the outcome of the auction.
Commodity ETF Roundup
After aparticularlybrutal summer, weather reports are nowforecastingrain and cooler temperatures in the drought-stricken Midwest. But manybelievethat this reprieve comes too late, as the damage has already been done to this year's crop, forcing prices of corn, soybeans, and wheat to remain at elevated levels. Natural gas futures however, responded to the forecasts, dropping nearly 1% on the day. Crude oil futures settled lower, but only after an initial surge from reports of lower supply levels.
ETF Chart Of The Day #1: EWQ
The iShares MSCI France Index Fund (EWQ) hit a rough spot today after France's trade deficit came in worse than expected. For the most part, the country has been regarded as being ratherresilientamidst the Euro Zone debt crisis, but recent data has indicated that France's economy might be in a more fragile state. In response, EWQ gapped significantly lower at the open, only to slide sideways throughout the day. The fund lost 0.63% on the day, settling just above its low of $20.34 a share .
ETF Chart Of The Day #2: CORN
The Teucrium Corn Fund (CORN)was one of today's best performers, gaining 1.67% during the session. Despite the forecasts of cooler temperatures and rain in the future, corn futures surged today after the USDA cut its corn output forecast by 15%. After a slow morning, CORN rallied higher throughout the day, settling just below its high of $51.65 a share .
ETF Fun Fact Of The Day
The PIMCO Total Return Fund (BOND) has gathered about $2.4 billion in assets since its launch in March. The other 132 ETFs launched in 2012 have gathered a total of about $1.8 billion.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.