Retail and real estate-focused exchange traded funds (ETFs) could be affected by the latest round of good news/bad news from their respective sectors.

Consumer confidence in September actually made some slight gains to hit their highest reading since April, reports Lara Moscrip for CNNMoney. Economists surveyed expected the reading to fall.

Even with the gains, though, the Consumer Confidence Index is still well off its year-ago levels, thanks to continued weakness in the job market, falling home prices and an overall volatile economy.

Home prices continued their decline in July, falling 16% year over year, reports J.W. Elphinstone for the Associated Press. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city housing index fell by the largest amount since its inception in 2000. Prices in the 20-city index have dropped nearly 20% since hitting their peak in July 2006.

While David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P, says there’s no evidence of a bottom, the pace of monthly declines is slowing.

  • DJ Wilshire REIT (RWR), down 0.1% year-to-date
  • iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate (IYR), down 2% year-to-date
  • SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), down 7.5% year-to-date
  • Retail HOLDRs (RTH), down 3.3% year-to-date

Real Estate, Retail Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

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.