Despite broad market weakness, ITB saw some of the strongest gains in the past five days thanks to optimistic news from National Association of Realtors and a positive earnings report from
. It is likely that DHI will continue to be a bright spot in the domestic housing industry thanks to its focus on budget housing.
Investors fled all things Europe this week, and it was Spain that was most responsible, as real estate and banking worries hit the market on Thursday. Accordingly, EWP took a nosedive. Though debt issues facing Greece and Portugal are making most of the headlines, Spain may end up being the biggest elephant in the room.
Already the nation faces 20% unemployment, a contracting economy and a massive government spending deficit. This week, however, that list of issues grew when the Spanish Mortgage Association announced that the nation's real estate market is bankrupt.
All of these issues together paint a depressing picture for Spain's financial sector, which accounts for over 40% of EWP's total portfolio. Going forward, I feel that more losses will be in store for this troubled nation and the broad euro-bloc.
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Regional Banks
Throughout the past month, regional banks proved to be a source of strength as Washington continues its assault on Big Finance. However, this week, investors took some profits, causing funds like the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Regional Banks Index Fund to take heavy losses.