Exchange-traded funds tracking Asian markets were among the best performers Monday, as indices in Japan, Thailand and South Korea finished higher overnight.
Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.4% overnight, and both Thailand's Stock Exchange and South Korea's Kospi Index added 0.8%. Indices in Hong Kong and China were closed to start the week.
The iShares MSCI South Korea Index (EWY) was up $2.84, or 4.2%, to $70.90. The SPDR S&P China (GXC) was adding $3.29, or 3.5%, to $97.15. The iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index (FXI) was higher by $6.40, or 3.6%, to $186.40. The PowerShares Golden Dragon Halter USX China (PGJ) ETF rose $1.01, or 3%, to $34.34.
Homebuilding and construction-related ETFs were also rising, after Citigroup upgraded Centex (CTX), Lennar (LEN), Pulte Homes (PHM), D.R. Horton (DHI) and Ryland Group (RYL) to buy from hold, as the firm believed a near-term bounce was coming due.The PowerShares Dynamic Building & Construction (PKB) gained 55 cents, or 2.8%, to $20.39. The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction (ITB) was climbing 49 cents, or 2.5%, to $20.36. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders (XHB) was up 50 cents, or 2.3%, to $21.90. Bundled securities following the chipmakers were also among Monday's winners. Applied Materials (AMAT), Xilinx (XLNX), KLA-Tencor (KLAC) and Intel (INTC) were all rising. The Ultra Semiconductor ProShares (USD) rose $3.66, or 4.2%, to $91.79. The iShares S&P GSTI Semiconductor (IGW) was up $1.54, or 2.3%, to $69.02. The PowerShares Dynamic Semiconductors (PSI) added 41 cents, or 2.2%, to $19.10. On the other hand, retail-related ETFs were among the worst performers after Walgreen (WAG) reported dismal fiscal fourth-quarter earnings. The stock slid nearly 15% after the report, with rival CVS (CVS) trading 5% lower in sympathy. The Retail HOLDRs (RTH) was losing 68 cents, or 0.7%, to $99.48. The PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) eased 3 cents, or 0.2%, to $17.82.