The fiscal cliff has sent many investors into caution mode for the past several weeks, and now it appears that we might be approaching panic time. The deadline to reach a deal on the package of tax increases and spending cuts referred to as the fiscal cliff is just a few days away. However there is one set of stocks that’s not being affected as much by the fiscal cliff, and that’s the housing stocks.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell for the firth day in a row as investors cut back on their investments ahead of the tax increases that are rapidly coming around the bend. All 10 groups within the S&P 500 also fell. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost almost 70 points as well by the early afternoon.
Among the worst-performing stocks right now are energy and materials companies, including Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) and Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE:BTU). Financial stocks aren’t doing so great either. Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) and Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) are both down.
President Obama is scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. EST with two of Congress’ top Republicans and Democrats. He is expected to offer a package that will prevent some of the changes that will occur if the fiscal cliff is allowed to arrive.
Meanwhile housing stocks are one bright area in the markets right now. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders (ETF) (NYSEARCA:XHB) climbed as the day went on after positive notes from the latest housing reports. According to the National Association of Realtors, its previously owned home sales index increased 1.7 percent to the highest it has been since April 2010. Home sales are likely being helped by the current low mortgage rates.