Exchange traded funds (ETFs) showed a modest rise at the market’s open on the back of an encouraging pending home sales report, largely fueled by tax credits that expired at the end of April.
Government tax credits designed to fuel home buying did the trick in April, sending pending home sales to a six-month high. It was the third straight month of increases. The enthusiasm over this report is somewhat tempered, because without the aid of those credits, many analysts expect home sales to decline in the next few months. [Homebuilder ETFs: Light At the End of the Tunnel?]
- SPDR S&P Homebuilders (NYSEArca: XHB)
After a disappointing return from the Memorial Day holiday, the stock futures point to a higher return despite a downturn in most major global markets Tuesday, likely a reaction to news that the U. S. government had launched criminal and civil investigations into the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. As one attempt after another fails to reduce the rate of oil being released into the Gulf, British Petroleum (NYSE: BP) saw its stock plunge in London as oil nears Florida’s Panhandle. After a 13% drop Tuesday, BP shares were down an additional 3% in London on Wednesday after another failure to stop the flow. BP has lost $75 billion in market value since the explosion that caused the spill on April 20.
This doesn’t seem to be hurting the performance of sector-focused oil ETFs. Two reasons are possible: one, while many Americans may be boycotting BP at the moment, other companies are reaping the rewards of increased business; two, oil prices in general are trending up today. [The Future of Oil ETFs.]
- SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production (NYSEArca: XOP)
Despite hitting a four-year low Tuesday, the euro has stabilized today and continues to hover at $1.2199. The currency used by 16 European Union countries has continued to heavily influence trading over the last month, in particular futures trading when investors have lacked other economic reports to focus on. That may change slightly on Friday when the monthly unemployment numbers are released. [How to Hedge Euro Currency Risk With ETFs.]
- CurrencyShares Euro Trust (NYSEArca: FXE)
News that Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama will step down less than two months ahead of elections has weakened the yen, raising concerns that Japan’s economy, the second-largest global economy, will sputter. The yen declined 1% against the dollar and 0.7% against the euro, at the same time China is taking steps to cool their economic growth and Europe struggles to contain record deficits. [Japan ETFs May Have Appeal.]
- iShares MSCI Japan (NYSEArca: EWJ)
Read the disclaimer; Tom Lydon is a board member of Rydex|SGI.
Aaron Hurst contributed to this article.
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.