Exchange-traded funds tracking the retail sector were among the best performers of Monday's session, following a positive earnings forecast and strong economic data.
Before the opening bell, department store giant Sears (SHLD) said its second-quarter earnings should be roughly in line with analysts' expectations. The company also said it would repurchase up to $1.5 billion more of its common stock.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said retail sales rose 0.3% last month, compared with a revised 0.7% decline in June. Excluding autos, retail sales were up 0.4%. Both figures were slightly above forecasts.
The First Trust Consumer Staples AlphaDEX (FXG) ETF was higher by 64 cents, or 3.4%, to $19.23. The Ultra Consumer Services ProShares (UCC) was up $1.57, or 2.5%, to $63.30. The PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) climbed 44 cents, or 2.5%, to $18.25.The Wireless HOLDRs (WMH) was also among the winners, thanks to gains of 3% or more in holdings Sprint Nextel (S), Qualcomm (QCOM) and Research In Motion (RIMM). The ETF was adding $1.89, or 2.9%, to $67.20. Bundled securities that track overseas activity were gaining ground after several central banks worldwide bought more securities, injecting funds into the banking system. The European Central Bank has put another $65 billion into its system, and the Bank of Japan has contributed an additional $5 billion. Global equity measures gained ground after the actions. Tokyo's Nikkei was up 0.2%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.5%. London's FTSE surged 3%, and Frankfurt's DAX climbed 1.8%. The PowerShares Dynamic Europe (PEH) was rising by 61 cents, or 2.6%, to $23.83. The SPDR S&P World ex-U.S. (GWL) was up 62 cents, or 2%, to $32.15. The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (EEM) added $2.30, or 1.8%, to $129.85. On the other hand, housing-related ETFs continued to crumble. Early Monday, homebuilder Hovnanian (HOV) said it delivered 3,179 homes in the third quarter, a decline of 31% from the year-ago period. More than 2,500 contracts were signed, but that was down 24% from last year. In addition to Hovnanian, D.R. Horton (DHI), Lennar (LEN), Toll Brothers (TOL) and Centex (CTX) were all losing 3.5% or more. The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction (ITB) was falling by $1.40, or 5.1%, to $26. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders (XHB) was down 99 cents, or 3.7%, to $26.07.