Concerns about the European economy just refuse to go away. U. S. prices also unexpectedly dropped for the first time in more than a year, taking major stock indexes and exchange traded funds (ETFs) on a wild ride Wednesday.
Inflation was hardly a problem for the Fed in April, with the overall Consumer Price Index dipping 0.1% to erase the 0.1% increase in March. This was the first decrease in consumer prices in 13 months. The breakdown of key components of the CPI show a 1.4% drop in energy prices after no change in March; gasoline dropped 2.4% in April after a 0.8% dip the month before; and food inflation rose 0.2% in both of the past two months. Overall, Consumer Price inflation remains extremely low, allowing the Fed to keep interest rates at historic lows to help jump-start the economy. [TIPS ETFs for the Inflation Conscious Investor.]
- United States Gasoline (NYSEArca: UGA)
The euro continues to lead trading as stocks dip while investors remain cautious about Europe’s troubled economy. Seen as an indication of confidence in the continent’s economy, investors have been closely following the performance of the currency in recent weeks. European stocks fell sharply early Wednesday on news that Germany financial regulator BaFin, was banning naked short-selling in shares of the country’s biggest banks and euro government bonds. However, European markets recovered throughout the day as the euro continued to climb. [Euro ETFs: Out of the Woods?]
- CurrencyShares Euro Trust (NYSEArca: FXE)
Intensifying riots in Thailand appear to be having little effect on the Thailand ETF, despite the fact that protesters have set the Thai stock exchange on fire this morning. Bangkok is one of Asia’s most cosmopolitan cities, and it’s now a militarized zone. Millions of residents are being asked to stay indoors, which could ultimately have a ripple effect on this ETF.
- iShares MSCI Thailand (NYSEArca: THD)
At nearly $68 a barrel, oil prices have hit an eight-month low amid a plunge of more than 20% from $87.15 on May 3. Much of the decline is linked to Europe’s debt crisis as investors are concerned the relief efforts there could fail, while deep government spending cuts in countries like Greece, Spain and Portugal will continue to hurt economic growth and oil demand. [Oil ETFs Look Shaky in Light of Futures.]
- United States Oil (NYSEArca: USO)
Aaron Hurst contributed to this article
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Lydon serves as an independent trustee of certain mutual funds and ETFs that are managed by Guggenheim Investments; however, any opinions or forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Mr. Lydon and not those of Guggenheim Funds, Guggenheim Investments, Guggenheim Specialized Products, LLC or any of their affiliates. 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.