Exchange traded funds (ETFs) turned sour after Alcoa Aluminum (NYSE: AA) revealed disappointing earnings. Alcoa is typically one of the first big companies to report earnings, and their numbers are what the Golden Globes are to the Oscars.

Weakness in aerospace, construction and gas turbines offset higher metal prices, Alcoa said, and revenue also was down. The Associated Press reports that investors this earnings season will be on the hunt for clues the consumers are returning to the marketplace.

In better earnings news, KB Home (NYSE: KBH) posted a profit, thanks to tax benefits. The builder reported that revenue declined 27%, but that cancellations have slowed, reports Joan E. Solsman for The Wall Street Journal. Like many homebuilders, KB has been building smaller and more affordable homes to compete with foreclosures. SPDR S&P Homebuilders (NYSEArca: XHB) is down nearly 1% this morning. [Homebuilder ETF plays.]

Concerns about China were ignited when the country tightened its monetary policy again and raised the minimum that banks must hold in reserve. The moves were put in place to stem runaway growth, they could have a ripple effect, slowing the recovery of other countries and hurting companies that sell resources to the nation. Claymore/AlphaShares China All-Cap (NYSEArca: YAO) is down nearly 2% this morning. [Read more on China here.]

The U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected in November by 9.7%, reports Tom Barkley for The Wall Street Journal. Exports have registered seven months of gains, but a rise in oil prices has caused the deficit to creep back up.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Lydon serves as an independent trustee of certain mutual funds and ETFs that are managed by Guggenheim Investments; however, any opinions or forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Mr. Lydon and not those of Guggenheim Funds, Guggenheim Investments, Guggenheim Specialized Products, LLC or any of their affiliates. 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.