Finally, some economic reports to get excited about. Exchange traded funds (ETFs) and stocks were lifted on reports that industrial production surged a full percentage point in July.
According to the ETF Analyzer, some of the top-performing ETFs early this morning include those focused on basic materials and base metals. The leading base metal fund so far today is the Global X Copper Miners (NYSEArca: COPX), which is up nearly 3%:
Factory output, which is the largest component of industrial production, rose 1.1% last month – the largest gain in almost a year. The numbers are primarily attributed to auto production that continued through summer. But even without that, output still rose 0.6%. First Trust Industrials AlphaDEX (NYSEArca: FXR) is up 1.5% so far today; in the last year, it has returned 15.6%. [5 ETFs to Play the Recovery.]
Giant retailer Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) said that its sales rose 3.6% in the second quarter, thanks to strength overseas. Wal-Mart also lifted its profit forecast for the full-year, despite weakness in the United States. iShares Dow Jones U.S. Consumer Services (NYSEArca: IYC) is up 1.3% so far today; Wal-Mart is 8% of the ETF. [Consumer ETFs: Going Overseas for Strength.]
Following on the heels of news that homebuilders are still feeling down about the housing market’s prospects is a report that housing starts rose less than forecast in July. The number of building permits issued declined to the lowest level in more than a year. SPDR S&P Homebuilders (NYSEArca: XHB), perhaps feeling that there’s nowhere to go but up, is up 2.3% so far today. [Homebuilder ETFs Take Hits After Negative Sentiment.]
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