Financial exchange traded-funds were among the worst performers this week as traders questioned whether the rate cut from the
and a liquidity injection by the U.S. central bank and other monetary authorities would do anything to ease the pain in the credit markets.
For the week, the
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Ultra Financial ProShares
ETF slumped 12% to $41.68. The
Financial Select Sector SPDR
ETF lost 5.5% to $29.48. The
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Broker-Dealers
ETF was lower by 1.7% to $50.68.
A number of individual stocks were in the headlines during the past few days.
slashed its dividend and said it would try to raise $2.5 billion from a preferred stock sale in order to protect its balance sheet from the downturn in the credit market.
CEO said the government-sponsored mortgage buyer could lose an added $5.5 billion to $7.5 billion in the coming years if the housing market stays weak and loan defaults increase.
Additionally, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers downgraded several financial names, including
Bank of America
Homebuilders were also among the worst performers of the week following the Fed's decision to reduce interest rates by 25 basis points. The Fed removed from its statement accompanying the decision language that the risks of inflation and an economic downturn were roughly balanced, leaving some to believe it would be the end of rate cuts by the central bank.
SPDR S&P Homebuilders
ETF lost 6.4% to end the week at $19.27. The
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction
ETF gave back 6.2% to $17.82.
Retail-related ETFs were also among the losers of the week, despite a better-than-expected government read on sales in November. The Commerce Department said Thursday that sales climbed 1.2% last month, the largest increase in six months, compared with expectations of a 0.7% rise. Excluding autos, retail sales were up 1.8% last month, the biggest advance in nearly two years.
Still, that did little to outweigh declines in shares of
SPDR S&P Retail
ETF was down 6.7% to $33.79. The
lost 5.6% to end the week at $93.18. The
PowerShares Dynamic Retail
ETF fell 4% to $15.90.
Energy-related ETFs were among the few winners as crude added 3.4% over the five sessions, ending at $91.27 a barrel.
PowerShares DB Oil
was up 4.5% to $34.55. The
United States Oil
added 4.1% to $72.25. The
iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil Index
rose 3.9% to $53.31.