ETFs Lower Ahead of Earnings Season’s Start

January 10th at 8:30am by Tom Lydon

Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are down today following declines in Asian and European markets. Wall Street is also anticipating fourth-quarter earnings numbers from aluminum giant Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) after the close.

  • European stock markets fell on Monday, with banks under pressure and sovereign-debt concerns in the spotlight after weekend talk that Portugal is being pressured to take a bailout. Heino Ruland, strategist at Ruland Research, said France would probably be less averse to a bailout for Portugal because it would relieve pressure on Spain, where French banks are heavily exposed. iShares S&P/Citigroup International Treasury Fund (NYSEArca: IGOV) is up slightly this morning; it has no exposure to Portugal, but France (7.1%) and Spain (4.7%) have a presence.
  • Most Asian markets declined today, as concerns about monetary- and property-market tightening combined with weak cues from the United States to prompt a sell-off across various sectors. Indonesian, Chinese and Indian stocks were among the worst affected as Japanese markets were closed for a holiday. Chinese property developers suffered broad losses following mainland media reports that the city of Chongqing was set to impose a new tax on luxury property. The Vanguard Pacific Stock ETF (NYSEArca: VPL) is down about 0.5% in early trading.
  • Shares of BP PLC fell more than 1.5% on Monday following the shutdown of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System after a leak was discovered at a pumping station. The suspension early Saturday of the pipeline, an 800-mile network that moves oil across the northernmost U.S. state from Prudhoe Bay to the port of Valdez, has forced oil companies to halt 95% of production from the North Slope area. The Direxion Daily Energy Bear 3X ETF (NYSEArca: ERY) is up more than 3% in early trading.
  • Wall Street is awaiting the kick-off to earnings season, with aluminum giant Alcoa (NYSE: AA) kicking things off after the close as it traditionally does. Analysts are forecasting good things for the company in the fourth quarter. SPDR S&P Metals & Mining (NYSEArca: XME), however, is down 1% so far today; Alcoa is 4.2%.

Gregory A. Clay contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.