Financial- and homebuilder-related exchange traded-funds were among the winners this week, as investors weighed a government-led plan to stave off massive foreclosures amid the ongoing housing slump and credit crunch.
President Bush on Thursday announced a multi-pronged plan developed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and mortgage industry leaders that includes freezing for five years certain subprime, adjustable rate mortgages about to reset. Bush also pledged to work with other homeowners to refinance existing loans or move into loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration.
News of the plan first leaked last Friday in a report in
The Wall Street Journal
, pushing shares of mortgage lenders higher. Lenders like
( CFC) and
( FRE) continued to advance throughout the past week as more details of the plan emerged.
Ultra Financial ProShares
ETF edged higher 0.8% to $47.09. The
Financial Select Sector SPDR
ETF rose 0.8% to $31.25. The
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Broker-Dealers
ETF was higher by 1% to $51.55.
Among homebuilders, the
SPDR S&P Homebuilders
ETF climbed 8.4% to $20.65. The
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction
ETF added 10.9% to $19.02.
rose 3.3% in a week that saw a host of news from the chip sector, including a report that worldwide semiconductor sales rose 5% in October. Also, affirmed forecasts came from
had a disappointing revenue forecast, but the shares still had a winning week.
PowerShares Dynamic Hardware & Consumer Electronics
ETF was also stronger, advancing 1.3% over the five sessions.
was up 1.6% during a week that saw shaky results from parts of the chain-store sector.
Quarterly profits plunged at
, and November same-store sales were mixed for a month that included the start of the important holiday shopping season. Still, the retail group overall had gains.