ETFs related to oil services were stronger Tuesday, even as crude for October delivery was falling 81 cents to $69.80 a barrel. The National Hurricane Center said Tropical Storm Ernesto was about 135 miles southeast of Florida and was expected to strengthen before making landfall, sparing the Gulf of Mexico.

The Oil Service HOLDRs ( OIH) ETF was adding 0.5% to $136.50. The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Oil Equipment Index ( IEZ) ETF was gaining 0.4% to $44.47. The PowerShares Dynamic Oil & Gas Services ( PXJ) ETF was higher by 0.8% to $19.69.

Other commodity funds were moving to the upside. The iShares Silver Trust ( SLV) ETF was recently up $1.76, or 1.5%, to $122.08, and the iShares Comex Gold Trust ( IAU) ETF was tacking on 6 cents, or 0.1% to $61.01.

Meanwhile, energy-exploration ETFs were falling. The PowerShares Dynamic Energy Exploration ( PXE) ETF was sinking by 0.9% to $19.27, and the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Oil & Gasoline Exploration Index ( IEO) ETF was losing 0.8% to $49.59.

Bundled securities tracking the financial sector were suffering after Punk Ziegel downgraded several brokerages. The firm dropped Merrill Lynch ( MER), Goldman Sachs ( GS), Bear Stearns ( BSC), Lehman Brothers ( LEH) and Morgan Stanley ( MS) to market perform from buy.

The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Broker-Dealers ( IAI) ETF was losing 1.2% to $44.19. The streetTRACKS KBW Capital Markets ( KCE) ETF fell 1.2% to $56.79. The Regional Bank HOLDRs ( RKH) ETF was off 0.7% to $152.57. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF) was down 0.5% to $33.29.

Among other losers, the Software HOLDRs ( SWH) ETF was lower as major holding Adobe Systems ( ADBE) fell 3.6%. The software maker faced pressure after news that Microsoft ( MSFT) will launch its own application to create PDF files.

The Software HOLDRs ETF was sliding by 22 cents, or 0.6%, to $36.05.

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