Exchange traded funds (ETFs) had a weak start today on news of consumer confidence and housing prices, but turned positive as the morning continued.
- The Consumer Confidence Index declined sharply in March, reversing five straight months of improvement. Consumers were worried about rising gas and food prices. the index fell more than expected, reaching a level not seen since December 2007, reports the Associated Press. Consumer expectations over the next six months worsened, but how they feel about the economy improved. The SPDR Consumer Discretionary Select Sector Fund (NYSEArca: XLY) is up 0.6% in morning trading.
- The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city index reported home price declines in most U.S. cities. the average prices in four of the cities hit their lowest point in 11 years, reports the Asscoicated Press. This was the sixth straight month of declines. “The housing market recession is not yet over, and none of the statistics are indicating any form of sustained recovery,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s. The ProShares Ultra Real Estate (NYSEArca: URE) is up 0.3% this morning.
- Oil prices continued to fall as expectations that Libyan rebel forces continue to charge against the government and restore the Libyan oil market. Concern continues over the nuclear plants in Japan, as plutonium was found in the soil, reports Reuters. PowerShares DBO Oil (NYSEArca: DBO) is up 0.7%.
- Standard & Poor’s downgraded five of Portugal’s largest banks, over the country’s economic, financial and operating environment. It is feared the country will need a bailout, similar to Ireland and Greece, reports Antonia van de Velde of CNBC. Vanguard European ETF (NYSEArca: VGK) is up 0.4%.
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.