ETF Trends
ETF Trends

Investors pushed stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) back on top this morning on news of Ben Bernanke’s reappointment as Chairman of the Federal Reserve and a positive indicator in the real estate sector.

President Barack Obama announced the reappointment of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke this morning, reports Bloomberg.  Many believe that Bernanke was the mastermind behind a strategy that lifted the economy out of a horrific recession, unlocked credit and stabilized the financial markets.  The news sent the Financial Select SPDR (XLF) up nearly 1.3% in intraday trading.

In the real estate world, home prices posted their first quarterly increase in three years, signaling that the housing market has turned a major corner.  The S&P Case-Shiller Index rose nearly 3% from the first quarter of the year to a reading of 133.  Additionally, all but two cities, Las Vegas and Detroit, saw home prices rise from May to June.  The report sent the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index (IYR) up 0.8% in morning trading.

In other news, the White House and Congress have cited a worse than expected economy as the reason behind exploding deficits and mounting debt over the next decade, reports Lori Montgomery for The Washington Post.  Both the White House Office of Management and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted the budget deficit for the year will be a record high $1.6 trillion.  Additionally, the figures indicate a cumulative $9 trillion deficit from 2010-2019, $2 trillion more than anticipated in May.  Both projections state that the only way to curb this is through cost cutting and revenue increasing.

The New York based Conference Board said its consumer confidence index rose to 54.1 from a 47.4 in July.  The index is still well below the 90 that it needs to indicate a healthy economy, but it is heading in the right direction.  Additionally, consumer expectations for the economy over the next six months rose to 75.3 from 63.4 in July marking its highest level since December 2007, when the recession started, reports Sara Lepro for the Associated Press.

Overall, all three major U.S. indexes were up with the Dow Jones Industrial Average leading the way adding 0.6%, followed by the S&P 500 up nearly 0.5% and the Nasdaq gaining 0.5%.

For more stories on real estate, visit our real estate category.

Kevin Grewal contributed to this article.

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.