President Obama is delivering a press conference this morning at which he’s expected to challenge the GOP on tax cuts and the broader economy. In anticipation of the conference and what might be said, the markets and exchange traded funds (ETFs) paused.

Few ETFs are making big moves this morning, as evidenced in the ETF Analyzer. United States Natural Gas (NYSEArca: UNG) is up 3% so far today, putting it at the top of the performance charts. UNG is climbing despite reports showing that natural gas futures may decline next week as signs that late-summer demand may be down.

Also moving higher vs. the U.S. dollar this morning are commodity-backed currencies, particularly the Australian and New Zealand dollars. The Chinese yuan also surged to a one-month high against the U.S. dollar. CurrencyShares Australian Dollar (NYSEArca: FXA) is up 0.3% so far today; WisdomTree Dreyfus Chinese Yuan (NYSEArca: CYB) is up by the same amount. [Travel the World With Currency ETFs.]

Australian Dollar ETF

Chinese Yuan ETF

U.S. wholesale inventories rose more than expected, the the highest level in two years thanks to a rebound in consumer demand. The 1.3% jump was far beyond the 0.3% forecast and it signals that manufacturing gains might continue to be enjoyed in the coming months. Although this is an improvement, few can expect consumers to resume frivolous spending. It’s worth continuing to watch consumer staples as a standout retail segment. SPDR Consumer Staples (NYSEArca: XLP) is up 0.3% early today. [4 ETFs for Tight Wallets.]

Consumer Staples ETF

Read the disclaimer; Tom Lydon is a board member of Rydex|SGI.

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.