Market optimism about what appears to be an approaching end to the government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis helped push up the major indicies, pulling up most of the biggest ETFs with them. With the DJIA and S&P both gaining more than 1.15 percent by early afternoon and the Nasdaq up almost as much, the highest-volume, broad market ETFs were on the rise. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF ($SPY) gained almost 1.25 percent, the Financial Select Sector SPDR ($XLF) climbed almost 2 percent, PowerShares QQQ ($QQQ) jumped almost 1 percent, and the iShares Russell 2000 Index ($IWM) was up almost 1.25 percent.
Congressional Deal on Debt Ceiling, Funding Appears Likely
The failure of the House of Representatives to pass a bill last night, paired with a new agreement in the Senate, appears to have bolstered market confidence overnight that a debt default will be avoided. Senate leaders announced Wednesday morning that they had reached a deal for a bill that would extend the nation’s borrowing limit to early February and end the two-week shutdown, approving a budget that will keep the government open until January 15. And today’s bounce would seem to indicate a consensus in the markets forming around the belief that Speaker of the House John Boehner will bring the Senate bill up for a vote, that it will pass, and that President Obama will sign it into law.
VIX Plunges, Emerging Markets Don’t
Today’s big losers are traders betting on the VIX, as an agreement in congress radically decreases anticipated market volatility. The iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (VXX) plunged almost 9.5 percent on Wednesday, while the inverse ETF, the VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX (XIV) climbed over 9.75 percent. Equities investors also seemed to be shifting back towards a risk-on environment as major ETFs tracking emerging market ETFs were on the rise. The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (EEM) and Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO) gained over 0.75 percent, the and the iShares MSCI Brazil Index ($EWZ) was up over 1.25 percent.