Exchange-traded funds tracking homebuilders, financials and REITs were all falling hard Friday, as investors fretted about the health of credit markets.

Shares of American Home Mortgage ( AHM) slid nearly 50% after it said it is slashing roughly 90% of its workforce, and published reports now say the company will shut down after failing to find a buyer for its operations.

Among REIT-related ETFs, the iShares FTSE NAREIT Mortgage REITs ( REM) was dropping $1.63, or 4.8%, to $32.59. The Ultra Real Estate ProShares ( URE) ETF gave back $1.37, or 3.2%, to $41.50. The Vanguard REIT Index ( VNQ) ETF was tumbling $1.46, or 2.2%, to $65.58.

In the financial sector, Bear Stearns ( BSC) was getting crushed after Standard & Poor's cut its rating outlook for the broker to negative, from stable. Earlier this week, the company said it is facing losses in a third mortgage-related fund. The stock was recently down 2.2%.

Other lenders and finance names were losing ground. Countrywide ( CFC), Lehman Brothers ( LEH) and Merrill Lynch ( MER) slid 2% or more.

The Rydex S&P Equal Weight Financials ( RYF) was dropping $1.40, or 3%, to $45.76. The First Trust Financials AlphaDex ( FXO) ETF was down 39 cents, or 2.2%, to $17.71. The PowerShares Dynamic Financials ( PFI) was giving back 42 cents, or 1.7%, to $24.32.

Homebuilders were feeling the crunch as well. Beazer Homes ( BZH), D.R. Horton ( DHI), Hovnanian ( HOV) and Meritage Homes ( MTH) were losing 4% or more.

The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction ( ITB) was shedding $1.13, or 4.2%, to $25.70. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ( XHB) was lower by $1.10, or 4.1%, to $25.93.

ETFs tracking precious metals were among few winners of a losing session, as gold and silver prices were on the rise. Recently, gold futures were adding $1.10 to $668.80 an ounce, and silver was higher by 12 cents to $13.11 an ounce.

The PowerShares DB Silver ( DBS) was adding 26 cents, or 1%, to $25.71. The PowerShares DB Gold ( DGL) gained 29 cents, or 1.1%, to $26.49. The iShares Comex Gold Trust ( IAU) was climbing by 51 cents, or 0.8%, to $66.43. The iShares Silver Trust ( SLV) was up $1.03, or 0.8%, to $130.06.

If you liked this article you might like

Paradigm Opportunity Protects Investors in Tough Times

Paradigm Opportunity Protects Investors in Tough Times

5 Things You Need to Know Before the Stock Market Opens (Correct)

5 Things You Need to Know Before the Stock Market Opens (Correct)

U.S. Investors Brace for a Third Bailout in Greece

U.S. Investors Brace for a Third Bailout in Greece

5 Things You Need to Know Before the Stock Market Opens

5 Things You Need to Know Before the Stock Market Opens

40 Hedge Funds' Best Stocks Show the Way for 2012 (Update 1)

40 Hedge Funds' Best Stocks Show the Way for 2012 (Update 1)