Volatility-linked ETFs were the week’s biggest gainers with some investors looking for hedges as the Dow Jones Industrial Average brushes up against its all-time high.
For example, VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short Term ETN (NYSEArca: TVIX) was on track for a 14% weekly advance in afternoon trading Friday amid reports leaders in Washington were unable to cut a sequester deal to avoid spending cuts.
In the major U.S. stock indices, the S&P 500 was poised for a weekly gain of 0.2%, the Dow added 0.6% and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.2%.
“The sequester panic, if this was 18 months ago, we could have seen multi-hundred point swings in the market,” Kevin Divney, chief investment officer at Beaconcrest Capital Management, told Bloomberg News. “What has happened is that the policy makers have lost credibility with the stock market.”
Stocks appeared to have already priced in the failure by legislators to reach an agreement, and equities were higher Friday afternoon following upbeat manufacturing data, Reuters reported.