S&P 500 Rebounds on Good Data (Bloomberg)
Thanks to forecast-beating durable goods orders in February and the biggest increase in home prices since 2006, U.S. stocks rose today, putting the S&P 500 back up near its all-time high. “The data continues to be pretty good out of the U.S. and that’s part of the reason stocks are still up here at 1,550, even though we had some bad news out of Europe over the past few days,” Paul Zemsky, the New York-based head of asset allocation for ING Investment Management, said. “Housing is a huge part of the economic recovery story and if housing prices rise, people feel better about their homes and generally more confident.”
Housing Numbers Looking Good (CNBC)
Numbers in various categories are looking good for housing, with home prices increasing, foreclosures decreasing and consumer confidence on the rise. “First-time homebuyers are the wildcard in the upcoming spring-summer home buying season,” said Thomas Popik, research director for Campbell Surveys. “We see strong first-time homebuyer traffic, but it’s still not clear that the traffic will translate into increased purchases.”
Cyprus Worries Keeping Euro Down (Reuters)
Ongoing worries about Cyprus’ banking crisis and mixed messages from European officials kept the Euro near a four-month low against the U.S. dollar today. The Japanese yen fell against both the dollar and the euro as Bank of Japan officials continued advocating monetary easing in Japan.
If you're like most Americans, the Middle East is not a place you normally think of as a red-hot investment opportunity.
In fact, there are just two exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that offer U.S. investors direct exposure to this region of the world: the WisdomTree Middle East Dividend Fund (GULF) and the Market Vectors Gulf States Index ETF (MES). Together, their assets under management add up to less than $25 million.
I travelled to Dubai last week for the
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