Active broad-market exchange-traded funds at the close of
Tuesday's regular session:
SPDR S&P 500 (
iShares S&P 500 (
PowerShares QQQ (
iShares Russell 2000 (
iShares Russell 1000 Growth (
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (EEM): +1.21%
United States Oil Fund (USO): +1.71%
SPDR Gold Shares (GLD): +0.94%
Select Financial Sector SPDRS (XLF):+0.14%
Broad Market Indicators
Most broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, and
IVV, were logging modest gains in
Wednesday. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (
) was up 0.19%.
U.S. stock futures were also firmer, as Alcoa (AA) started off
the earnings season with strong bottom line results. Investors
continue to be cautious ahead of the release of the March FOMC
minutes, while bargain-hunting in tech and social-media stocks
helped lift global equity markets. In economic data, wholesale
inventories for February will be released 10 am ET, with economists
expecting a 0.5% increase, following the 0.7% gain in January.
Power Play: Industrial
Industrial ETFs Vanguard Industrials (VIS), iShares Trust Dow
Jones U.S. Industrial Sector Index Fund (IYJ), and Select Sector
SPDR-Industrial (XLI) are unchanged in pre-market trading after
seeing slight gains in the previous session.
In sector news, Alcoa (AA) was up more than 3% after the company
reported late Tuesday Q1 earnings, excluding items, of $0.09 per
share, better than the analyst consensus of $0.05 per share on
Capital IQ. Sales were $5.45 billion, shy of the Street view of
$5.55 billion. Alcoa is increasing its 2014 global aerospace growth
expectation by one percentage point (8% - 9%, previously 7% - 8%),
on strong demand for both large commercial aircraft and regional
jets and continued growth in the business jet market. The company
also continues to project 2014 growth in automotive (1% - 4%),
packaging (2% - 3%), and building and construction (4% - 6%). Alcoa
expects a steady commercial transportation market (-1% - 3%) and a
decline in the industrial gas turbine market (-8% to -12%) on lower
orders for new gas turbines and spare parts. Alcoa continues to
project 7% global aluminum demand growth in 2014.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was up 0.37%. Direxion Daily
Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 0.41%. Its bearish
counterpart, FAZ, was down 0.19%.
Among financial stocks, e*TRADE Financial Corporation (ETFC) was
up some 2% in pre-market trading after analysts at Bank of
America/Merrill Lynch have upgraded their coverage of the company's
stock to a neutral rating from underperform. The firm raised its
price target on the stock to $21 from $19 a share.
Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), iShares Dow Jones US
Technology ETF (IYW), iShares S&P North American Technology ETF
(IGM) and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index
(IGV) were flat. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF
(IPK) was also quiet in pre-market trading.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and
Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) were unchanged as well.
In corporate news, Local Corporation (LOCM) was up some 3%
Wednesday after the advertising and technology company said it has
launched a new mobile display ad network for advertisers and
publishers. "The launch of our mobile display ad network is a
natural progression as we focus on becoming a mobile-first
company," said Michael Sawtell, president and COO. The company
cited figures from eMarketer, saying U.S. mobile display ad
spending is expected to grow from $8.1 billion this year to $16.3
billion in 2016. Local had network growth of over 140% in 2013, and
the release of new mobile products will continue to drive revenue
growth, Sawtell said.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR
(XLE) were unchanged in pre-bell trading.
Among stocks, Synthesis Energy Systems (SYMX) on Wednesday
announced the operational launch of ZCM-SES Sino-U.S. Clean Energy
Technologies in China, its joint venture with Zhangjiagang Chemical
Machinery. Zhangjiagang Chemical holds a 65% ownership interest in
ZCM-SES and exclusive manufacturing rights for all ZCM-SES customer
projects, in exchange for funding working capital needs. Synthesis
Energy is contributing exclusive usage of its gasification
technology in China and the joint venture's additional markets for
a 35% interest in ZCM-SES.
Crude was up 0.14%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.41%.
Natural gas was up 0.75% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG)
was up 0.67%.
Gold was down 0.47% and silver was down 1.88%. Among rare metal
funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.53% and iShares Silver
Trust (SLV) was down 1.82%.
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), Vanguard Consumer
Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK)
were unchanged pre-market.
Retail ETFs SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), PowerShares Dynamic
Retail (PMR), and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), were also
Among stocks, American Apparel (APP) shares jumped 11% in
Wednesday's pre-market session, after Bloomberg reported Swiss firm
FiveT Capital, a Swiss firm that just reported Monday it boosted
its stake in the apparel retailer to nearly 13%, is sharing ideas
with American Apparel's CEO. The Bloomberg report noted Johannes
Minho Roth, who runs FiveT Capital, "likes that American Apparel's
focus on quality lets it sell clothes at premium prices." FiveT
will focus on helping American Apparel improve its finances,
possibly by seeking to lower the interest rate on the retailer's
debt, the Bloomberg report said.
Health Care SPDR (XLV), Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and
iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were unchanged. Biotech ETF
iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.3% in pre-market
In corporate news, Halozyme Therapeutics (HALO) shares declined
3% after the biopharmaceutical company said it was informed by the
Food and Drug Administration that a clinical hold has been placed
on patient enrollment and dosing of its PEGPH20 in an ongoing Phase
2 trial evaluating PEGPH20 in patients with pancreatic cancer. The
clinical hold comes after Halozyme last week said it was
temporarily halting patient enrollment and dosing in the trial,
following a recommendation from an independent data-monitoring
committee. The committee is assessing clinical data "that indicates
a possible difference in the thromboembolic event rate between the
group of patients treated with PEGPH20, nab-paclitaxel and
gemcitabine versus the group of patients treated with
nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine without PEGPH20," the company said
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