Exchange traded funds that invest in homebuilders and related sectors were higher Thursday after the Commerce Department said housing starts rose nearly 4% in May.

Also Thursday, Pier One (NYSE: PIR) said its first-quarter profit nearly doubled. The furniture and home furnishings retailer accounts for nearly 5% of SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (NYSEArca: XHB).

The ETF rose more than 1% on Thursday, while iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction (NYSE: ITB) rallied over 2%.

The ETFs invest in homebuilder stocks such as Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL), but also hold other companies and sectors that serve the residential market.

SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF was fractionally negative this year through Wednesday’s close.

Earlier this week, an index showed that homebuilder confidence levels fell in June to their lowest in nearly a year.

SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF

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