Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are heading toward a third day of losses in early trading on fears that now Portugal or Spain could be next in need of financial help. Not even a good report about consumers could right things.

  • Consumer confidence has surged to a five-month high. While we’re coming off some big lows, any improvement is a good one. A gauge of business activity also climbed unexpectedly, signaling that a recovery could continue apace into the new year, Bloomberg reports. Despite the improvements, SPDR S&P Retail (NYSEArca: XRT) is up a scant 0.1% early.
  • MarketWatch reports that the ongoing turmoil in eurozone comes after European Union officials finalized a bailout package for Ireland and outlined a plan to replace the rescue fund put in place following last spring’s Greek bailout with a permanent mechanism that would potentially require private bond holders to take write-downs in the event of debt crises that take place after mid-2013. Play the ProShares Ultra Short MSCI Europe ETF (NYSEArca: EPV) to ride the bearish Euro-trend – it’s up almost 2.5% in early trading.
  • Most Asian stock markets are also moving lower Tuesday as fears about further monetary-tightening measures in China helped fuel a drop in the Shanghai Composite index to its weakest closing level in seven weeks. The Nikkei Stock Average ending near a two-week low after data showed a rise in unemployment and a drop in industrial production in October – as reported by MarketWatch. The iShares MSCI China Small Cap Index ETF (NYSEArca: ECNS ) is bucking the early down trend in early trading and is up about 0.5%.
  • Standard & Poor’s S&P/Case-Shiller index showed that home prices are falling faster in the nation’s largest cities. The home-price index fell 0.6% in September from August. Eighteen of the 20 cities recorded monthly price declines – reported by the Associated Press. A record number of foreclosures are expected to push prices down further through next year, as well.

Gregory A. Clay contributed to this article.

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.