US dollar continues the downtrend
The US Dollar Index measures the strength of the US dollar against the other major currencies. It fell by 0.13% on December 22, 2015. The index started the month close to 100. Since then, it has been on a negative trend. It fell by more than 2% over the month. The US Dollar Index fell to a low of 98. It found support to close slightly up at 98.2. The strong European data release from Germany and Belgium also put some pressure on the US dollar.
GDP revised down to 2%
The BEA (Bureau of Economic Analysis) published the final GDP (gross domestic product) numbers for the third quarter on December 21, 2015. The GDP revised the GDP down to 2% from the previous estimate of 2.1%. For the previous quarter, the GDP was 3.9%. Corporate profits fell by 1.7%. The GDP price index rose by 1.3%. Later in the day, the National Association of Realtors published the existing home sales for December. The home sales fell below the forecasts. The existing home sales were 4.8 million—compared to forecasts of 5.3 million.
Impact on the market
The housing-related ETFs were trading on a positive bias. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) rose by 0.80%. The iShares US Home Construction ETF (ITB) also saw a significant rise of 1.2% on December 22, 2015.