Exchange traded funds (ETFs) and the markets are taking a breather this morning after a three-day rally.  Markets are relatively flat in early trading.

  • Oil prices were lower after the Japanese government approved the release of 22 days’ worth of oil reserves to assist areas damaged by the earthquake and tsunami.  Military sources say the air strikes in Libya have slowed down Moammar Gadhafi, leaving investors to believe there should not be any more supply disruptions.  However, more problems in the Middle East kept the price of oil from falling further.  In Yemen, a contingent of military commanders went to the political opposition. PowerShares DB Oil Fund (NYSEArca: DBO) is up 0.8% in morning trading.
  • Factories in Japan are still not running to full capacity and the country’s biggest brands – Toyota, Honda and Sony – have again delayed the time they will resume full production.  Power shortages and shortages in supplies continue to be an issue for these companies.  Factories in Japan are not the only ones affected, Japan exports supplies across the globe, so businesses are having to look elsewhere for the parts. iShares MSCI Japan Index (NYSEArca: EWJ) is down 1.8%.
  • A government agency said U.S. home prices fell for the third straight month in January, giving more evidence that the housing market is still weak and not recovering quickly.  Home prices fell 0.3%, more than expected. iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index Fund (NYSEArca: IYR) is down 0.6% this morning.

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.

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