What do you know? Falling gas prices this month lifted the collective mood of consumers and exchange traded funds (ETFs).

It’s had quite an effect, too: the increase in confidence is the biggest in two years, reports Anne D’Innocenzio for the Associated Press. It’s also the second month that sentiment has improved, after a six-month slide since January.

These numbers are closely watched, since consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of the economy.

It’s been nice to drive by the local gas station without having to cringe in anticipation of yet another new price high. Gas prices continued their downward trend today, bringing the total national decline to more than 10% since mid-July, reports Kenneth Musante for CNN Money.

The national average is now $3.68, down from a high of $4.11 on July 17.

  • United States Gasoline (UGA), up 8.3% since Feb. 28 inception; down 4.1% in the last month
  • Retail HOLDRs (RTH), up 1.1% year-to-date; up 8.2% in the last month
  • SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), down 8.5% year-to-date; up 3.5% in the last month
  • Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), down 1.7% year-to-date; up 4.1% in the last month
  • Vanguard Consumer Staples (VDC), down 1.7% year-to-date; up 4.5% in the last month

For full disclosure, some of Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of XLP.

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.