Exchange-traded funds tracking homebuilders were among the best performers in an otherwise weak session Tuesday, despite a disappointing report on pending home sales.

The National Association of Realtors said that its pending home sales index dropped a greater-than-expected 6.5% in August. Economists expected a 2% decline in sales. Following the report, the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index rose 1.3%. Hovnanian ( HOV), Toll Brothers ( TOL), D.R. Horton ( DHI), Lennar ( LEN) and Centex ( CTX) all jumped 4.5% or more.

The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction ( ITB) was up $1.10, or 5.3%, to $21.85. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ( XHB) rose $1.03, or 4.7%, to $23.12.

Bundled securities related to financials were on the rise after several M&A headlines emerged from the sector. Citigroup ( C) said it will acquire the rest of Nikko Cordial, a Japan-based broker, for $4.6 billion. On Monday, Citigroup was part of a rally in the financial sector, despite acknowledging that third-quarter earnings should drop 60% from a year ago.

Another deal will see Commerce Bancorp ( CBH), a New Jersey bank, acquired by Canada's TD Bank ( TD) for $8.5 billion in stock and cash. Additionally, Royal Bank of Canada ( RY) laid out plans to buy a Caribbean bank, RBTT Financial Group, for roughly $2.2 billion.

The Rydex S&P Equal Weight Financials ( RYF) gained 92 cents, or 1.9%, to $48.68. The Ultra Financials ProShares ( UYG) added $1.01, or 1.7%, to $60.55. The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Regional Banks ( IAT) was higher by 44 cents, or 0.9%, to $46.93. The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Broker-Dealers ( IAI) advanced 64 cents, or 1.2%, to $53.95.

Asian market-related ETFs were also higher after overseas indices rallied in the wake of record highs for U.S. averages. Hong Kong's Hang Seng surged 3.9% and Japan's Nikkei advanced 1.2%.

The SPDR S&P China ( GXC) was up $2.34, or 2.4%, to $98.75. The iShares FTSE/Xinhau China 25 Index ( FXI) gained $4.49, or 2.4%, to $189.74. The SPDR S&P Emerging Asia Pacific ( GMF) added $1.03, or 1.1%, to $91.50.

On the other hand, ETFs tracking gold and silver were among the worst performers of Monday's session as commodity futures dropped in price. Recently, gold prices were dropping $19.70 to $734.40 an ounce. Silver was tumbling 53 cents to $13.32 an ounce.

The Market Vectors Gold Miners ( GDX) ETF was lower by $2.10, or 4.6%, to $43.72. The PowerShares DB Silver ( DBS) was down 82 cents, or 3.1%, to $26.05. The iShares Silver Trust ( SLV) was declining $4.56, or 3.3%, to $131.90. The PowerShares DB Gold ( DGL) eased 73 cents, or 2.5%, to $28.56.