XHB’s heavier bias to discretionary names could help whether a moderate housing market slump, which is to say if such a slump does come to pass, XHB would likely be less bad than ITB.

ITB currently resides 10.5% below its 52-week high while XHB is 4% below that level. The two have the ominous distinction of being among a small number of ETFs that are still nowhere close to their pre-financial crisis highs. XHB would need to rise almost 48% to reclaim its all-time high set in 2006 while ITB would need to almost double.

SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF

Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of XHB.