Equity exchange traded funds (ETFs) started out higher on Monday, as the dollar rose while crude-oil and silver futures sank, after President Barack Obama announced that U.S. forces had killed al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan.

  • Silver prices fell sharply in early Monday trading in Asia, with the spot price plunging more than 10% in a matter of minutes, according to Kitco data. By 9:30 a.m. Sydney time (7:30 p.m. U.S. Eastern time), spot silver traded at $43.63 an ounce, recovering from below the $43 level earlier in the day. At one point early Monday, the price dove 12% within 11 minutes, according to Dow Jones Newswires, which put the intraday high at $48.15 before a plunge to $42.21. Some reports pointed to low volume, due to holidays in some markets Monday, as exaggerating the move, and said the sharp drop pointed to a speculative move against the silver price. On the futures market, silver for July delivery was down 9.6% at $43.965. Responding to the early morning silver trend, the ProShares Ultra Short Silver ETF (NYSEArca: ZSL) jumped over 7% so far on Monday.
  • Crude-oil futures fell more than 1% Monday, with energy traders in a selling mood after the U.S. announced it killed Osama bin Laden during a raid in Pakistan. Analysts at Houston-based energy research firm Tudor Pickering Holt said the “first reaction by the market is relief” that the man who directed the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that killed thousands, mostly at the site of the former World Trade Center, was dead. While bin Laden’s al Qaeda organization “still exists and future strikes remain a risk … reality is Al Queda has not focused on oil supply/transportation targets over the past decade, so [we]don’t think bin Laden’s death should have significant impact on crude (up or down),” the Houston-based energy research firm said in a comment to clients. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration ETF (NYSEArca: XOP) is moderately higher in early trading.
  • Several trends put Detroit’s automakers — and Chrysler in particular — back in the black. Sales are rising as the economy improves, and each of the companies has released popular new products. Chrysler’s sales rose 18 percent worldwide in the first three months of the year. Chrysler’s return to profitability is also another chapter in the comeback of the Detroit Three automakers. General Motors Co., which also went into bankruptcy in 2009 and took government loans, has reported a string of profitable quarters and held an initial public offering in November. Ford Motor Co., which didn’t take bailout money but nearly had to file for bankruptcy five years ago, reported its eighth consecutive quarterly profit last week. The Consumer Discrete Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEArca: XLY) is up almost 1% early Monday.

Gregory A. Clay contributed to this article.

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