Stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) were mixed this morning in light trading. Investors struggled to extend a six-session winning streak that has left the major indexes at their highest point in nearly 15 months.
Consumer confidence rose for the second straight month. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index climbed to 52.9 for December, up from a revised 50.6 in November. Americans have become more confident about the future as the Expectations Index jumped to 75.6 from 70.3 in November, reports Jeffry Bartash for MarketWatch. However, the Present Situation index – a measure of how consumers feel now – fell to 18.8 from 21.2 and remained at a 26-year low.
Home price gains of the past few months flattened out in October. This is according to the S&P/Case Shiller Home Price index, which covers 20 of the largest metropolitan areas in the nation. The index was unchanged in October, after four months of consecutive gains. It’s also down 7.3% from a year earlier, reported Les Christie for CNNMoney. Prices are down from their all-time highs set in 2006 by 29% for the 20-city index. [For more stories on housing, see our homebuilders category.] The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (NYSE: XHB) is down about 0.6% this morning.
Technology stocks dipped into the red this morning, weighed down mostly by weakness in the semiconductor sector, reports MarketWatch’s technology editor Dan Gallagher. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) slipped for a second straight day. [For more stories on the semiconductor sector, see our semiconductors category.] The SPDR S&P Semiconductor ETF (NYSE: XSD) is lower by about 1% this morning.
Tony D’Altorio contributed to this article.
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