Quadwitching Ends With a Whimper: Dave's Daily

This was a quiet quadwitching for markets especially given the end of yet another volatile week. There was little in the way of economic data. Earnings news featured a positive report from FedEx (FDX) which stated holiday shopping has provided a large boost to its business. (It's still just once a year right?) Nevertheless the company stated Asian business was slowing which was little noticed. Maybe FedEx and UPS can just buy the remains of the postal system, but then again, why should they?

I'd speculate that uneventful expirations have more to do with the dominance of HFTs (High Frequency Trading) where focus on quadwitching and other expirations aren't as meaningful to the HAL 9000s dominating conditions. It's just a speculation on my part.

Zynga (ZNYG) went public today and the stock briefly rose above the offered price but settled slightly lower. CEO Mark Pincus stated, "Our approach has always been to focus on the long-term." Sure, but he's sure grateful to have cashed-in some of his chips while he could.

Gold reversed course rising and the dollar/euro relationship was little changed. Most commodity prices were higher while bond prices settled higher as well.

Stocks were generally lower across the board, and I admit, there's some confusion with quotes showing some markets higher than where some quote vendors have things. There is a dividend not as yet posted which accounts for the difference as the price is adjusted lower to reflect it

Volume was typical for recent periods and breadth per the WSJ was positive overall.

  

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SPY - The SPDR® S&P 500® ETF is a fund that, before expenses, generally corresponds to the price and yield performance of the S&P 500 Index. Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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IWM - The iShares Russell 2000 Index Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the small capitalization sector of the U.S. equity market as represented by the Russell 2000 Index. The index represents the approximately 2,000 smallest companies in the Russell 3000 Index.
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QQQ - PowerShares Capital Management LLC is passionate about our goal of delivering the highest quality investment management available through one of the more benefit-rich investment vehicles ever created, the exchange-traded fund.PowerShares QQQ¿, formerly known as "QQQ" or the "NASDAQ- 100 Index Tracking Stock®", is an exchange-traded fund based on the Nasdaq-100 Index®. The Fund will, under most circumstances, consists of all of stocks in the Index. The Index includes 100 of the largest domestic and international nonfinancial companies listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market based on market capitalization. The portfolio is rebalanced quarterly and reconstituted annually.
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Continue to U.S. Sector, Stocks & Bond ETFs

XLB - The Materials Select Sector SPDR® Fund, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the Materials Select Sector Index. Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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KBE - The SPDR® KBW Bank ETF, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the KBW Bank Index. Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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XLF - The Financial Select Sector SPDR® Fund, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the Financial Select Sector Index. Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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XLI - The Industrial Select Sector SPDR® Fund, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the Industrial Select Sector Index. Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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XLU - The Utilities Select Sector SPDR® Fund, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the Utilities Select Sector Index. Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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XRT - The SPDR® S&P® Retail ETF seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before expenses, the total return performance of the S&P Retail Select Industry® Index. Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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XLY - The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR® Fund, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector Index. Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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IYT - The iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average Index Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of Dow Jones Transportation Average Index.
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IYR - The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the real estate sector of the U.S. equity market, as represented by the Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index.
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IEF - The iShares Barclays 7-10 Year Treasury Bond Fund seeks to approximate the total rate of return of the intermediate-term sector of the United States Treasury market as defined by the Barclays Capital U.S. 7-10 Year Treasury Bond Index.
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TLT - The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund seeks to approximate the total rate of return of the long-term sector of the United States Treasury market as defined by the Barclays Capital U.S. 20+ Year Treasury Bond Index.
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Continue to Currency & Commodity Market ETFs

UUP - The PowerShares DB US Dollar Bullish Fund (Symbol: UUP) is based on the Deutsche Bank Long US Dollar Index (USDX®) Futures Index¿ (DB Long USD Futures Index). The Index, which is managed by DB Commodity Services LLC, is a rules-based index composed solely of long USDX® futures contracts. The USDX® futures contract is designed to replicate the performance of being long the US Dollar against the following currencies: Euro, Japanese Yen, British Pound, Canadian Dollar, Swedish Krona and Swiss Franc.
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FXE - CurrencyShares Euro Trust is designed to track the price of the euro net of Trust expenses, which are expected to be paid from interest earned on the deposited euros.
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GLD - The objective of the SPDR® Gold Trust¿ is for the Shares to reflect the performance of the price of gold bullion, less the Trust's expenses.
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GDX - The Gold Miners ETF seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the NYSE Arca Gold Miners Index. The Index provides exposure to publicly traded companies worldwide involved primarily in the mining for gold, representing a diversified blend of small-, mid- and large- capitalization stocks. As such, the Fund is subject to the risks of investing in this sector.
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SLV - The objective of the iShares Silver Trust is for the value of the shares of the iShares Silver Trust to reflect, at any given time, the price of silver owned by the iShares Silver Trust at that time, less the iShares Silver Trust's expenses and liabilities.
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DJP - The iPath® Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index Total ReturnService Mark ETN is linked to the Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index Total ReturnService Mark and reflects the returns that are potentially available through an unleveraged investment in the futures contracts on physical commodities comprising the index plus the rate of interest that could be earned on cash collateral invested in specified Treasury Bills. The commodities represented in the Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index Total ReturnService Mark are rebalanced annually; however, the weightings fluctuate between rebalancings due to changes in market prices.
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DBB - The PowerShares DB Base Metals Fund (Fund) is based on the Deutsche Bank Liquid Commodity Index - Optimum Yield Industrial Metals Excess Return¿ (Index) and managed by DB Commodity Services LLC. The Index is a rules-based index composed of futures contracts on some of the most liquid and widely used base metals - aluminum, zinc and copper (grade A). The index is intended to reflect the performance of the industrial metals sector. You cannot invest directly in an index. Ordinary brokerage commissions apply.
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JJC - The Dow Jones-UBS Copper Subindex Total ReturnService Mark is a sub-index of the Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index Total ReturnService Mark and reflects the returns that are potentially available through an unleveraged investment in the futures contracts on physical commodities comprising the index plus the rate of interest that could be earned on cash collateral invested in specified Treasury Bills.
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DBA - The PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund is based on the Deutsche Bank Liquid Commodity Index Diversified Agriculture Excess Return¿ and managed by DB Commodity Services LLC. The Index is a rules-based index composed of futures contracts on some of the most liquid and widely traded agricultural commodities. The Index is intended to reflect the performance of the agricultural sector.
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JJG - The Dow Jones-UBS Grains Subindex Total ReturnService Mark is a sub-index of the Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index Total ReturnService Mark and reflects the returns that are potentially available through an unleveraged investment in the futures contracts on physical commodities comprising the Index plus the rate of interest that could be earned on cash collateral invested in specified Treasury Bills. The Index is currently composed of three futures contracts on grains traded on U.S. exchanges.
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USO - The United States Oil Fund, LP ("USO") is a domestic exchange traded security designed to track the movements of light, sweet crude oil ("West Texas Intermediate").
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UGA - The United States Gasoline Fund LP (UGA) is an exchange traded security that is designed to track in percentage terms the movements of gasoline prices.
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UNG - The United States Natural Gas Fund LP (UNG) is an exchange traded security that is designed to track in percentage terms the movements of natural gas prices.
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FCG - The First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas Index Fund is an exchange-traded fund. The investment objective of the Fund is to seek investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield, before fees and expenses, of an equity index called the ISE-Revere Natural Gas Index. The ISE-Revere Natural Gas IndexTM is an equal-weighted index comprised of exchange-listed companies that derive a substantial portion of their revenues from the exploration and production of natural gas. See more details

XLE - The Energy Select Sector SPDR® Fund, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the Energy Select Sector Index. Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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Continue to Overseas Sectors & ETFs

EFA - The iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of publicly traded securities in the European, Australasian and Far Eastern markets, as measured by the MSCI EAFE Index.
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EZU - The iShares MSCI EMU Index Fund seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of publicly traded securities in the European Monetary Union (EMU) markets, as measured by the MSCI EMU Index.
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EEM - The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of publicly traded securities in emerging markets, as represented by the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.
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EWJ - The iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of publicly traded securities in the Japanese market, as measured by the MSCI Japan Index.
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The Utilities Select Sector SPDR® Fund, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the Utilities Select Sector Index. Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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EWQ - The iShares MSCI France Index Fund seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of publicly traded securities in the French market, as measured by the MSCI France Index.
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EWU - The iShares MSCI United Kingdom Index Fund seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of publicly traded securities in the British market, as measured by the MSCI United Kingdom Index.
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EWG - The iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of publicly traded securities in the German market, as measured by the MSCI Germany Index.
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EWZ - The iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of publicly traded securities in the Brazilian market, as measured by the MSCI Brazil Index.
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RSX - The Russia ETF seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the DAXglobal® Russia+ Index. The Index provides exposure to publicly traded companies that are domiciled in Russia, and traded in Russia and/or on leading global exchanges. As such, the Fund is subject to the risks of investing in this country.
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EPI - WisdomTree India Earnings Fund seeks investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the WisdomTree India Earnings Index.
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FXI - The iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the FTSE China 25 Index.
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The NYMO is a market breadth indicator that is based on the difference between the number of advancing and declining issues on the NYSE. When readings are +60/-60 markets are extended short-term.

The McClellan Summation Index is a long-term version of the McClellan Oscillator. It is a market breadth indicator, and interpretation is similar to that of the McClellan Oscillator, except that it is more suited to major trends.I believe readings of +1000/-1000 reveal markets as much extended.

The VIX is a widely used measure of market risk and is often referred to asthe "investor fear gauge". Our own interpretation is highlighted in the chart above. The VIX measures the level of put option activity over a 30-day period. Greater buying of put options (protection) causes the index to rise.

Continue to Concluding Remarks

This is a much shortened commentary since markets were little changed from Thursday. In fact you'll note many charts are repeats from the previous day just for this reason.

It hasn't been a good week and perhaps Santa can show up next week for his Christmas rally albeit from a lower than hoped for level.  If no news is good news then perhaps markets can rally since there isn't much economic data until Thursday's Jobless Claims, GDP and Leading Indicators followed by Friday's Durable Goods Orders and Personal Income and Spending. There will be earnings reports Monday from Red Hat, General Mills and Carnival on Tuesday, Micron and Tibco Software on Wednesday and American Greetings on Thursday.

Let's see what happens and have a great weekend!

Disclaimer: The ETF Digest maintains active ETF trading portfolio and a wide selection of ETFs away from portfolios in an independent listing. Current positions if any are embedded within charts. Active Portfolios: No Positions. Our Lazy & Hedged Lazy Portfolios maintain the follow positions: SH, EUM, EFZ, VT, MGV, BND, BSV, VGT, VWO, VNO, IAU, DJCI, DJP, VMBS, VIG, ILF, EWA, IEV, EWC, EWJ, EWG, EWU, EWD, GXG, THD, AFK, BRAQ, CHIQ, TUR, & VNM.

The charts and comments are only the author's view of market activity and aren't recommendations to buy or sell any security.  Market sectors and related ETFs are selected based on his opinion as to their importance in providing the viewer a comprehensive summary of market conditions for the featured period.  Chart annotations aren't predictive of any future market action rather they only demonstrate the author's opinion as to a range of possibilities going forward. More detailed information, including actionable alerts, are available to subscribers at www.etfdigest.com .

This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

Dave Fry is founder and publisher of ETF Digest, Dave's Daily blog and the best-selling book author of Create Your Own ETF Hedge Fund, A DIY Strategy for Private Wealth Management, published by Wiley Finance in 2008. A detailed bio is here: Dave Fry.

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