[Chart courtesy of MarketWatch.com]
1. Moving the Markets
Well, we can check this month off as the worst for the markets since January.
The S&P 500 finished the month down just over 1.5%, the Nasdaq dropped 1.9% and the Dow ended down 0.3%.
It seems that throughout the month stocks have been hurt by conflict abroad, in places like Ukraine, Iraq and Syria. Additionally, recent pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong have added to geopolitical risk. Investors have also had to come to grips with the fact that the Fed will soon have to start raising interest rates.
If you owned shares of health care ETFs in the third quarter though, you fared pretty well given the fact that the largest gains have come in the healthcare sector. Across the market, healthcare stocks are up 6% for the quarter.
Lastly, let’s talk about gas. With crude oil prices plunging to near two-year lows and likely to remain tepid through year’s end, consumers in all but a handful of states could soon pay $3 a gallon or less for gasoline, the lowest pump prices since 2010. Rising global oil production, ample inventories, slackening demand and a strong U.S. dollar have all put pressure on the global oil markets recently. Today, Brent crude fell 2.4% to $94.83.
9 of our 10 ETFs in the Spotlight slipped as the markets meandered with a downside bias.