Equity ETFs were on track for sizable weekly gains Friday as a last-minute deal to avert the fiscal cliff removed a key uncertainty from the market, although investors are already looking ahead to the looming debt ceiling deadline.
This week’s top performers included ETFs indexed to energy, Chinese stocks and master limited partnerships. Funds tracking homebuilders, regional banks and biotech also paced the sector gainers.
The major U.S. equity indices started 2013 with a rally in a busy news week shortened by the New Year’s holiday on Tuesday. The latest Fed meeting minutes revealed some officials mulled scaling back or ending the central bank’s bond purchases. Also, Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report showed the employment market continues to muddle along.
The S&P 500 was set for a weekly advance of 4.4% in afternoon trading Friday, the Dow added 3.7% and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 4.8%.
“The jobs number today was somewhat benign. It was pretty close to what estimates were, so there wasn’t much to draw out volatility,” said Gordon Charlop, managing director at Rosenblatt Securities, in a Reuters report. “I get the sense we’re just sort of going to digest the events of earlier this week,” he added, referring to the fiscal cliff deal.