Spain's markets are ramping higher for a second day, as an optimistic bond auction helps to alleviate investor concerns about the nation's debt picture. Top holding, Banco Santander ( STD) has been the index's leader, gapping back to levels seen prior to its November breakdown. Spain may look promising given the past couple of days. However, I would advise investors to continue to steer clear of EWP. When debt concerns resurface, the fund will likely be in store for volatility.
Corn futures prices are heading higher today, helping to lift CORN to brand-new all-time highs. Elsewhere in the realm of agriculture futures-based products, iPath Dow Jones UBS Cotton Total Return Subindex ETN ( BAL) and iPath Dow Jones UBS Sugar Total Return Subindex ETN ( SGG) are heading lower. Crop prices will likely remain in vogue in the coming weeks and months. Investors looking for equity exposure to this industry should turn to the Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF ( MOO).
iShares MSCI Thailand Investable Market Index Fund (THD) 1.8%
The Thai markets are heading higher today, helping THD lock in its third consecutive day of gains. Since October, THD has been stuck trading in a sideways manner. Looking ahead, investors will want to keep a close watch on the $62 area. Throughout the past few months, this region has held up as a level of support.
iShares S&P India Nifty 50 Index Fund (INDY) -2.2%
While the Thai markets are heading higher, the same cannot be said for India-related ETFs. Inflation fears are rousing concern in this nation, leading funds such as INDY and PowerShares India Portfolio ( PIN) to get knocked around. India remains an attractive emerging market prospect but for now, investors will want to use caution when venturing into this region of the globe.
Despite today's mixed market action, precious metals are facing headwinds. The iShares Silver Trust ( SLV) is heading lower and the iShares Gold Trust ( IAU) is locked in unchanged territory. The biggest decliners from this region of the market, however, are metals producers. Both GDXJ and the Global X Silver Miners ETF ( SIL) look set to end the day on a sour note.
The weekly storage report from the Energy Information Administration noted that natural gas inventories dipped less than expected last week. This news is weighing heavily on futures contract prices, sending UNG and the iPath Dow Jones UBS Natural Gas Total Return Subindex ETN ( GAZ) lower. All prices as of 2:15 PM EST