Exchange-traded funds tracking homebuilders were the worst performers of a holiday-shortened week following soft housing data and more fears of an economic slowdown.
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction
ETF gave back 11.2% to $15.32. The
SPDR S&P Homebuilders
ETF lost 10.3% to end the week at $16.92.
On Monday, the National Association of Realtors said existing-home sales rose 0.4% to an annualized rate of 5 million units last month, as expected. Still, sales were down 20% from a year ago. The inventory of homes on the market fell 3.6% last month to a 10.3-month supply.
Additionally, a weak jobs report Friday sank homebuilder stocks. The Labor Department said the U.S. economy added 18,000 jobs in December, well short of economists' expectation of 70,000. The unemployment rate jumped to 5% from 4.7% in November, surpassing forecasts of 4.8%. The dismal jobs report highlighted the recent economic slowdown and stoked fears of a recession.
Financial and retail-related ETFs were also among the losers of the week, slammed by the weaker-than-expected employment report.
For the week, the
Ultra Financial ProShares
ETF slumped 9.9% to $36.73. The
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Broker-Dealers
ETF was lower by 6.8% to $47.36. The
Financial Select Sector SPDR
ETF lost 5.1% to $27.46.
Among bundled securities tracking retailers, the
SPDR S&P Retail
ETF was down 8.9% to $30.93. The
PowerShares Dynamic Retail
ETF fell 8.5% to $14.43. The
lost 6.9% to end the week at $87.60.
Semiconductor-related ETFs were also lower on the week, pressured by several analyst downgrades. On Wednesday, Banc of America Securities cut
Advanced Micro Devices
, among others.
Ultra Semiconductor ProShares
ETF plummeted 21.4% to $56.42. The
sank 9.7% to $29.45. The
iShares S&P GSTI Semiconductor
ETF shed 9.2% to $54.40.
On the other hand, energy-related ETFs were among few winners of the week as crude topped the mythical $100-a-barrel level briefly. Oil finished with a 2% advance over the four sessions at $97.91.
PowerShares DB Oil
was up 2% to $35.42. The
United States Oil
added 1.9% to $77.30. The
iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil Index
rose 1.6% to $57.
Bundled securities tracking gold futures were also higher for the week. Gold futures added 2.7% for the week to close at $865.70 an ounce.
Market Vectors Gold Miners
ETF finished up 6.6% at $49.69. The
iShares Comex Gold Trust
ETF climbed 2.6% to $85.19. The
streetTRACKS Gold Shares
ETF rose 2.5% to $85.08.