Exchange traded funds (ETFs) seized an opportunity to turn higher as oil prices paused for a breath in early trading.

  • Middle East ETFs are leading the charge today. Both Market Vectors Gulf States (NYSEArca: MES) and PowerShares MENA Frontier Countries (NYSEArca: PMNA) are up nearly 4% this morning despite continuing fighting in Libya. Analysts say the markets could be factoring in the long-term impact of these events.
  • The dollar is taking a reprieve from recent weakness, sending the PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Bullish (NYSEArca: UUP) up by 0.5%. The euro, which continues to be dogged by debt fears about the eurozone, declined early, sending CurrencyShares Euro Trust (NYSEArca: FXE) down 0.6%.
  • Cheap homes brought out bargain hunters in January, thanks to falling prices and an increasing rate of foreclosures. The median price of an existing home is now at the lowest level since 2002. Sales climbed 22% from October, the biggest three-month gain since the tax credits ended. iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction (NYSEArca: ITB) is up more than 3% today after the report.
  • McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) same-store sales in the United States surged nearly 3% last month, although the final tally was less than expected by analysts. The action really was overseas, where sales rose 3.9%. Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLY) is up slightly this morning; MCD is 6.3% of the ETF.

Read the disclaimer; Tom Lydon is a board member of Rydex|SGI.

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.