ETF Trends
ETF Trends

Stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) are shying away from making any big moves this morning as the nation awaits the testimony of Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and trader Fabrice Tourre.

Tourre and Blankfein will speak to a panel of senators today to defend themselves and Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) against charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC alleges that Goldman lured investors to invest in a housing market that Goldman new was collapsing as far back as 2007, then betting against those investors. Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLF) is down about 0.5% so far today. [Why Regional Bank ETFs Are Riding High.]

Other news and economic reports were roundly positive.

Consumer confidence shot up this month to its highest level since 2008. The improving labor market is being credited with the better mood – Americans are less pessimistic about their job prospects than they were just a few months ago. Naturally, economists expect the now more upbeat consumers to go out and spend, spend spend. Consumer spending makes up 70% of economic activity in this country. First Trust Consumer Discretionary AlphaDEX (NYSEArca: FXD) is down about 0.8% so far this morning. [Equal Weight vs. Revenue Weight ETFs.]

Home prices notched their first annual gain in more than three years in February. While economists are pleased with the 0.6% gain, though they predicted a 1.2% increase, they caution that it’s too early to call a true recovery in the market. Tax credits designed to encourage new homebuying are scheduled to expire on Friday; that will be the true litmus test for the health of the markets. iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction (NYSEArca: ITB) is don about 0.6% so far today. [Real Estate ETFs: Will They Sink or Swim?]

Greece is still waiting on word of that bailout plan, which isn’t doing any favors for the troubled euro, which is down 1.6% in the last two weeks. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Union and the eurozone are meeting in Athens to hash out a deal, but investor doubts about a $60 billion bailout are luring them to the safe-haven U.S. dollar. PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Bullish (NYSEArca: UUP) is up 0.3% this morning. [ETFs to Play the Indian Rupee’s Hot Streak.]

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.