It’s still up in the air whether U.S. stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) can continue their rally and extend their gains on more good economic news.
Optimism that the worst in the housing slump may be over boosted investor confidence as the real estate industry saw the biggest monthly increase in pending home sales in the last eight years. Existing home sales increased 6.7% in April, giving homebuilders a much-needed boost, sending the SPDR S&P Homebuilders (XHB) up nearly 3% in intraday trading.
Black gold slid below $68/barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange this morning as many traders took their profits from recent gains and moved on. Many fear that this year’s huge fiscal and monetary easing around the world could eventually send prices soaring, a staple characteristic of inflation, and have been buying up oil and other commodities to hedge against this probability, notes Dirk Lammers for the Associated Press. In addition to this speculation, some traders believe that the U.S. recession may be tapering off and that economic growth in China may be picking up, sparking demand for crude. The aforementioned has kept crude at high levels. This morning’s selling of the commodity, sent United States Oil (USO) down about 0.1% in morning trading.
On its first day under court protection, General Motors (GM) has announced that it has 16 potential buyers for its Saturn brand, three for Saab and one for Hummer, reports the Associated Press. The automaker plans to launch a new company within 60-90 days focusing on a leaner, stronger and more efficient company through its bankruptcy filing protection.
The good news is that owners of the aforementioned brands, as well as all other GM brands will still have valid warranties on their vehicles, through either new buyers of the brands or the government. Additionally, if you own GM shares, you should probably sell them as that they will stop trading on the NYSE. Lastly, GM bondholders will be able to exchange their bonds for fresh stock in the GM company, but only time will tell us how which the stock will be worth in real dollars, states The New York Times.