Lawmakers are working fast and furious to craft a rescue plan that will save the economy, our beat-up stock markets and exchange traded funds (ETFs) – at least, that’s the hope.

Reports are that a deal is close, but there is still haggling taking place over a few of the larger components of the package, including how to phase in the cost of the plan without affecting the markets, reports Julie Hirschfeld Davis for the Associated Press.

The core of the plan involves the idea that the government would buy up the bad assets of these shaky financial firms to keep them from going under, and thus avoiding what could be a severe recession.

President Bush last night pushed for quick action, says James Rowley for Bloomberg. Without the plan, Bush said, the U.S. economy would grind to a halt: foreclosures would rise, Wall Street would suffer further losses and millions of Americans could lose their jobs.

Durable goods orders fell by a much more than expected 4.5% in August, mostly on softer demand for transportation equipment and other costly items, reports Glenn Somerville for Reuters. Orders for durable goods, those items made to last three years or more, were expected to fall just 1.6%.

Impacted ETFs:

  • Market Vectors Steel (SLX), down 29.5% year to date
  • iShares Dow Jones US Aerospace & Defense (ITA), down 22.4% year to date
  • Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK), down 23.4% year to date
  • iShares Dow Jones US Technology (IYW), down 21.9% year to date

Durable Goods ETFs

Oil is stepping back slightly today as investors weigh the supply delays in the Gulf of Mexico against worries about the credit crisis and how it will impact global economy growth. About 66% of oil production and 61% of the natural gas output there remains shut in after the passage of hurricanes, reports Emily Flynn Vencat for the Associated Press.

Affected ETFs:

  • iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil Total Return Index ETN (OIL): up 11.3% year-to-date
  • United States Oil Fund (USO): up 12% year-to-date
  • PowerShares DB Oil (DBO): up 13.9% year-to-date

Oil 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.