ETFs Move Higher As Fiscal Cliff Ticks Closer

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Major index ETFs moved higher on Thursday as investors wait for tomorrow’s Employment Report and news on fiscal cliff.

countdown ETFs Move Higher As Fiscal Cliff Ticks CloserIn a quiet day, Wall Street exchanges and ETFs ticked higher on low volume as investors eye major reports and the ongoing fiscal cliff debate.

Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL) rose 1.57% to recover some of yesterday’s loss but remains well below its 50 and 200 day moving averages. Read “Apple Rebounds”

Weekly jobless claims came in today at 370,000, beating expectations and down from 395,000 last week.

Today’s report will be followed by tomorrow’s November Non Farm Payrolls and Unemployment Reports due to be released at 5:30 am Eastern time.  The report will be widely watched as it could further illuminate the state of the U.S. economy and add pressure on Congressional and White House negotiators in their deliberations over the fiscal cliff.  Hurricane Sandy is widely expected to have impacted tomorrow’s report in a negative way.  Read “Unemployment Claims Fell More Than Expected”

Major U.S. Stock and Index ETFs:

Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) +0.3%

S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) +0.33%

Nasdaq 100 (NYSEARCA:QQQ) +0.70%

Russell 2000 (NYSEARCA:IWM) +0.15%

Gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) +0.23%

Oil (NYSEARCA:USO) -1.74%

While stocks and ETFs rose today, VIX, the CBOE S&P 500 Volatility Index, also known as the “fear index,” rose 0.73% as investors and speculators pushed up the demand for put options as fear increased in the market. VIX ETFs also rose, with iPath S&P 500 Short Term Futures ETN (NYSEARCA:VXX) gaining 1.26%.  VIX and related VIX ETFs have been rising in the last few days as investors begin to hedge the outcome of the fiscal cliff negotiations, however, the VIX index still remains below its 200 day moving average.  VIX closed at 16.58 today, also below its long term average of 20.

Meanwhile, in Europe, the European Central Bank left its interest rate unchanged a 0.75%, a record low and that action was mirrored by the Bank of England which kept its interest rates at 0.5%, also a record low.  European ETFs were mixed.

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