Companies responsible for unearthing precious metals are enjoying strength. They are trailing funds like GDXJ and the Global X Silver Miners ETF (SIL), but bullion-tracking funds like the iShares Gold Trust (IAU) and the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) are also gaining ground.
As major stock market averages push to a second day of gains, resource and materials producers are among the industries that are leading the march higher. URA, the Market Vectors Steel ETF (SLX), the Market Vectors Coal ETF (KOL), and the SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF (XME) are among the biggest climbers as the end of the week approaches.
A wide variety of international ETFs are benefiting as investors venture back into riskier corners of the globe. Emerging Asia-focused products like HAO, the iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund (FXI), and the iShares MSCI Thailand Investable Market Index Fund (THD) are up between 2.5% and 3.5%.
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Oil Equipment & Services Index Fund (IEZ) 3.4%
Energy is also benefiting as market strength leads investors to reevaluate their views towards the global growth picture. It has been a rough few days for IEZ. Even as crude prices have remained buoyed over $100 per barrel, the fund has tumbled to 2012 lows. The past few days shown some signs of stabilization, but looking to the near term, it will be interesting to see if the climb can continue.
It has been a shaky week for Europe as EU sovereign debt drama has shoehorned its way back into the global market discussion. Non-EMU nations like Sweden and Poland are heading higher and helping EWD and the iShares MSCI Poland Investable Market Index Fund (EPOL) gain ground. Meanwhile, funds linked to Italy and Spain are seeing mixed action. The iShares MSCI Italy Index (EWI) is sitting in solid positive territory while the iShares MSCI Spain Index Fund (EWP) hovers in unchanged territory.
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (VXX) -5.2%
As major market indices march higher, the fear index is being cast to the sidelines. Not even a disappointing initial jobless claims report has been able to disarm the bulls' comeback and, heading towards the close, VXX and the VIX benchmark appear set to lock in their first two-day string of losses since March. All prices as of 2:10 PM DST