If you’ve had an extra spring in your step lately, maybe you’re one of the many consumers who reported a brighter outlook for May, boosting the market and exchange traded funds (ETFs). Consumer confidence levels are the highest they’ve been in eight months, reports Jack Healy for The New York Times. Every sector of the S&P 500 was higher, led by consumer-oriented companies such as McDonald’s (MCD) and Home Depot (HD). After a long holiday weekend, the news was enough to overshadow other less positive reports.

  • SPDR S&P Retail (XRT): up 28.6% year-to-date

The “other less positive” news includes the fact that housing prices continued to fall by a record 19.1% in the first quarter. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller National Home Price index drop was the most in its 21-year history, reports the Associated Press. Since peaking in the second quarter of 2006, home prices have fallen 32.2%.

Investors can track the movements of the residential real estate market through two funds: MacroShares Metro Major Housing Up (UMM) and MacroShares Metro Major Housing Down (DMM).

A deadline to stave off bankruptcy is looming for automaker General Motors (GM), and the company has failed to persuade enough bondholders to accept a debt-for-equity swap, report Kevin Krolicki and Jui Chakravorty Das for Reuters. This could set the stage for the largest-ever U.S. industrial bankruptcy by the end of this month.

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.