July may not have been the best month for the American consumer, but it was a strong one for corporate America and exchange traded funds (ETFs).

For the month, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 7.1%. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq each rose 6.9%.

Main Street was still vexed by a weakening housing market, a high rate of foreclosures and slowing retail spending. In fact, consumer confidence this month fell to its lowest point since February. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testified in the middle of the month that Americans could expect a very slow recovery in the coming months.

Contrast that with the corporate world, which saw improved earnings (more than 80% of companies reporting beat expectations) that drove blue-chips higher this month. Also this month, European banks passed a round of “stress tests” and the economy appears to be getting back on the right foot.

Click here to view our full July ETF Performance Report.

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.