The markets and exchange traded funds (ETFs) are trading higher this morning in an attempt to reverse two consecutive weeks of losses. A report from the service sector has contributed to the early lift.

The U.S. service sector grew for the first time in 13 months in September, and although jobs are still scarce, it’s still being called a positive sign for the recovery, reports Tali Arbel for the Associated Press. The index hit 50.9, and any reading above 50 indicates growth. The index tracks hospitals, retailers, financial services companies and truckers.

  • Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLY)

  • PowerShares Dynamic Food & Beverage (NYSEArca: PBJ)

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) said that it plans to choose an emergency CEO if Ken Lewis steps down before year’s end. Lewis plans to retire on Dec. 31. The Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLF) is up nearly 2.5% this morning.

The Treasury Department has said that its program to assist banks in unloading their bad mortgages may be up and running by the end of this month, reports Edmund L. Andrews for The New York Times. Five out of nine money-management firms selected to buy the unwanted securities have raised the minimum amount needed – $500 million. Another four should complete financing by the end of the month.

Earnings season kicks off this week, with reports expected from Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM), Family Dollar (NYSE: FDO), Costco (NasdaqGS: COST) and Alcoa Aluminum (NYSE: AA).

For more stories on the financial sector, visit our financial category.

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.