Continuing the streak of bad news emerging from the real estate sector, it was announced today that new home sales fell in December. The final report on 2009 makes it the weakest year on record for the real estate market. Can real estate exchange traded funds (ETFs) rise above the reports?

New home sales in December had a surprise 7.6% drop last month, reports the Associated Press. The figures were the weakest since March. Analysts were surprised by the drop, given the newly expanded tax incentives. Those incentives will end this spring, which has many wondering what a recovery in the market will look like without the government’s helping hand. SPDR S&P Homebuilders (NYSEArca: XHB) is down nearly 1% this morning. [Outlook for commercial real estate.]

Analysts and rabid Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) watchers are eagerly awaiting today’s unveiling of what’s rumored to be a keyboard-free computer that can fit in your pocket. The tablet is rumored to cost between $600 and $1,000, say Yukari Iwatani Kane and Don Clark for The Wall Street Journal. PowerShares Dynamic Technology (NYSEArca: PTF) is down nearly 1% this morning; Apple is 2.7%. [How to play tech earnings.]

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner testified this morning about the government’s actions in the AIG (NYSE: AIG) rescue. Geithner denied any involvement in the withholding of information about the billions that went from AIG to big banks, report Mary Williams Walsh and Sewell Chan for The New York Times. AIG received an $85 billion loan, which protected banks from losses, but left the insurance behemoth saddled with more debt that required yet another bailout. RevenueShares Financial Sector (NYSEArca: RWW) is down nearly 1% this morning; AIG is 3.2%. [For more stories about financials, visit our page.]

Other earnings coming up include Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Altria Group (NYSE: MO), AT&T (NYSE: T), Jet Blue (NASDAQ: JBLU) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT).

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.