The markets and exchange traded funds (ETFs) welcomed news of improved pending home sales with wide open arms. Some positive earnings reports helped add to the early gains.

Pending home sales rose in December, possibly giving a clue that the Spring buying season will be more plentiful. The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday its seasonally adjusted index of sales agreements rose 1% from November to December to a reading of 96.6, reports Adrian Sainz for Associated Press.

Earnings reports are in for the following:

  • UPS (NYSE: UPS) Reports say fourth quarter earnings rose 198% to $757 million from $254 million a year earlier. Earnings per share increased to 75 cents from 25 cents during the same period, reports Business First. iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average (NYSEArca: IYT) is up 0.5% so far today. UPS is 8.1%. [How climate change legislation can boost transportation.]
  • Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW) Q4 earnings  are reported at $172 million before certain items are paid, or $0.18 a share, as compared to a loss of $1.55 billion, or $1.68 a share, in the same period the previous year. DOW’s sales rose 15% to $12.5 billion, says Monica Gerson for Benzinga.

Meanwhile, Toyota (NYSE: TM) is struggling to eliminate questions surrounding millions of its vehicles. The automaker announced a fix on Monday to stop gas pedals from possibly sticking and causing cars to speed up unexpectedly. Michelle Maynard and Hiroko Tabuchi for The New York Times reports that the company now faces major uncertainty about the well-being of future sales numbers. The company’s earnings will be released on Thursday.

  • iShares MSCI Japan Index (NYSEArca: EWJ) holds 5.4% of Toyota

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.