It wasn’t long ago that we were excited about the Dow topping 10,000; now it’s within spitting distance of 11,000. Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are on a tear, thanks to improvements in pending home sales and the service sector.
Pending home sales surged 8.2% from January to February. It’s largely a sign that government incentives provided the needed impetus for new home buyers to get out and purchase new abodes. Another driver could be the threat of rising mortgage rates later this year; buyers want to get in while the getting is relatively cheap. It was the biggest jump in almost nine years. The improving numbers, while focused on existing homes, could bode well for homebuilder ETFs. SPDR S&P Homebuilders (NYSEArca: XHB) is up nearly 2% so far today. [Comparing the Homebuilder ETFs.]
If you have a lot of driving in your future, you’re not going to like this: oil and gasoline prices have surged to 18-month highs on the heels of strong economic reports over the last few days. Oil is up to $86.62 a barrel, while gasoline went to $2.83 a gallon today. United States Gasoline (NYSEArca: UGA) and United States Oil (NYSEArca: USO) are up at least 1% so far today. [Oil ETFs: Where are Prices Heading?]
The guffaws and the many iPad puns that circulated following the device’s unveiling haven’t seemed to hurt it any: on day one, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) sold 300,000 units, along with millions of apps from the iTunes store. PowerShares QQQ (NASDAQ: QQQQ) is up 1% today; Apple is 16.6%. [4 Reasons Tech Could Go Boom and the Best ETF Strategies to Play It.]
The U.S. service sector grew at the fastest pace in nearly three years last month, another indication that the U.S. recovery is graduating beyond the manufacturing sector and actually leading to job creation. Non-manufacturing businesses, which make up nearly 90% of the U.S. economy, grew more than anticipated.
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.