The markets and exchange traded funds (ETFs) appear to be mostly chewing on the news about retail and housing before they make any rash moves.
The price of a single-family home dropped 7.7% in the first quarter, making for the biggest year-over-year decline since record-keeping began in 1982, reports Les Christie for CNN Money. The median sales prices also fell 4.8% compared to the last three months of 2007.
Real estate and homebuilder ETFs, however, were mixed in early trading. Among them:
- SPDR S&P Homebuilders (XHB), up 10.5% year-to-date
- iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction (ITB), up 7.3% year-to-date
- DJ Wilshire REIT (RWR), up 9.9% year-to-date
- iShares Dow Jones US Real Estate (IYR), up 7.5% year-to-date
Retail numbers for April came out today, as well, and they were down for the second consecutive month, reports Martin Crutsinger for the Associated Press. The usual bugaboos of high gas prices and skyrocketing food costs were the culprits.
The Commerce Department said sales were down 0.2%, and that auto sales were down 2.8%. It was the biggest setback for that category in 10 months. Excluding autos, however, retail sales actually rose 0.5% and it was better than expected.