Home prices are down and exchange traded funds (ETFs) are up.

The Case-Shiller index of 20 cities in the United States fell 15.8% in May compared with a year ago, a record decline since its 2000 inception, reports J.W. Elphinstone for the Associated Press. Not one city in the index saw a price increase.

Since the index peaked in July 2006, home values have dropped off by 18.4%. While some areas posted record declines, some areas showed that the housing value drops were slowing. Las Vegas lost the most, 28.4% from year earlier.

Meanwhile, consumers seem to be getting that spring back in their step, after consumer confidence halted a six-month decline in July. We’re still nursing some wounds, though, and the news about housing prices might hurt a little, reports Burton Frierson for Reuters.

Part of the reason for the mood shift could be that oil has fallen off some in recent weeks. That’s bound to put a smile on many faces. Oil is continuing to fall today, down $3 a barrel in early trading. They’re now at their lowest level in seven weeks, reports Stevenson Jacobs for the Associated Press.

Among the ETFs trading higher today include:

  • First Trust S&P REIT (FRI), down 5.2% year-to-date
  • iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index Fund (IYR), down 6.1% year-to-date
  • Retail HOLDRs (RTH), down 7.9% year-to-date
  • Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), down 5.8% year-to-date

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.