ETF Preview: Broad Market ETFs Weak on Syria Concerns; Gold Funds Shine


Active broad-market exchange-traded funds in Tuesday's regular session:

SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust ( SPY ): -1.2%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): -2.2%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ( VXX ): +6.8%

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ): -1.7%

Market Vectors Gold Miners ( GDX ): -0.3%

Pre-Market Movers

SPY +0.02%

EEM -0.05%

GLD +0.65%

IDX +4.5%

EPI -2.9%

Broad Market Indicators

Many broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, are mostly lower. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) is flat after falling almost 2% on Tuesday.

U.S. stock futures are little changed with the prospects of U.S. military action against Syria continuing to weigh on sentiment. The S&P 500 Index slid to its lowest level since July 3 on Tuesday on concern over intervention, which also pushed up the price of oil. Gold benefited as investors sought a safe-haven investment. Amid economic data, a report at 10 a.m. New York time may show pending home sales were unchanged in July, according to a Bloomberg survey, after a 0.4% drop in June.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) is up 0.1%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 0.27%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 0.15%.

Among financial stocks, Cash America International, Inc. (CSH) has signed an asset purchase agreement for the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of a chain of 34 pawn lending locations for about $62 million. When completed, the transaction will add 31 pawn lending locations in Georgia and 3 locations in North Carolina, which will expand Cash America's presence in both markets. The stores are currently owned by PawnMart, Inc. and operate primarily under the PawnMart brand in both markets. The stock is unchanged pre-bell.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is unchanged, while the Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) is up 0.12%. Both are still at the high end of their 52 week ranges.

In sector news, analysts at FBR Capital have resumed coverage of Arch Coal Inc. (ACI) with anOutperform rating. The firm set its price target on the stock at $6 a share. ACI is up 0.65% to $4.65 in the pre-market hours, but remain in the low end of a 52-week range of $3.47 - $8.86.

Commodities -

Crude was up 1.44%, climbing to its highest levels in two years amid concern unrest in the Middle East will disrupt oil supplies; United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 1.34% and has hit new 52 week highs. Natural gas is down 0.3% and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.48%.

Gold was up 0.5%; SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.99%; silver prices were up 0.85%, and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 1.74%.

Consumer -

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was down 0.45%; other consumer ETFs iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) are all unchanged after dipping on Tuesday.

In sector news, Zale (ZLC) reported a Q4 loss of $0.25 per share, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.33 loss per share. Revenues were $417.1 million, versus the analyst estimate of $407.88 million. Comparable store sales in the quarter increased 5.6%. In the same period last year, the company reported EPS of $0.61 on revenues of $407 million. The shares are up 9.3% pre-market.

Technology -

Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was down 1.4%. iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW) and iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM) and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV) are so far unchanged after all posting losses of about 2% on Tuesday.

Semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) and SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) were also flat after steep losses in yesterday's session.

In sector news, AutoNavi (AMAP), a Chinese provider of digital maps, posted Q2 revenue and earnings that fell short of expectations and said its previous guidance is no longer a good indicator of the value of its business as it shifts its focus towards mobile apps. Net revenues in the second quarter of 2013 were $38.2 million, compared to $40.2 million in the second quarter of 2012 and below consensus forecasts for $42.7 million, according to Capital IQ. The shares have crashed 16% pre-bell.

Healthcare -

Health Care SPDR (XLV) was down 1.4%; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were flat after closing lower Tuesday. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB), was down 0.38%.

In corporate news, Endo Health Solutions (ENDP) said Wednesday that its Qualitest subsidiary has acquired privately held Boca Pharmacal, a specialty generics company, for $225 million in cash.

Boca Pharmacal focuses on niche areas, commercializing and developing products in categories that include: controlled substances, semisolids, and solutions.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: EEM , GDX , SPY , VXX , XLF

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