ETFs at Mid-Day: ETFs, Stocks Turn Positive Following Upbeat Jobless Claims Data


Active broad-market exchange-traded funds at mid-day Wednesday:

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.61

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +0.98%

Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): +0.97%, with a new 52-week high

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ( VXX ): -0.42%

iShares Russell 2000 ( IWM ): +0.89%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, were slightly firmer. But actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.69%, nearing its 52-week high.

U.S. stocks ticked higher at session's half, following the report hat U.S. jobless claims for the week dropped by 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 339,000 - the second lowest reading for the year so far. Analysts had expected jobless claims to decline to 351,000, according to Market Watch. Earnings continue to take the spotlight, with Dow Chemical (DOW) and Exxon (XOM) posting mixed results. Up ahead, Inc. (AMZN) and Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) are both due to report after the market close.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 0.97% with a new 52-week high of $18.73. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 2.59%, with a new 52-week high of $58.63. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 2.48% and sinking to a new 52-week low.

Among financial stocks, First American Financial (FAF) was down 0.68% after it reported Q1 EPS of $0.33, missing by $0.09, and revenue of $1.15B beating by $0.07 billion, Seeking Alpha Reports. CoreLogic's Q1 CoreLogic (CLGX) Q1 sales $397.2 Mln tops Street's $384.38 Mln and its adjusted EPS $0.45 beats estimates for $0.37.

Industrial -

Industrial ETFs Vanguard Industrials (VIS), iShares Trust Dow Jones U.S. Industrial Sector Index Fund (IYJ), and Select Sector SPDR-Industrial (XLI) were modestly firmer.

Among stocks, Global Geophysical Services (GGS) was up 30.37% after it reported Q1 adjusted earnings of $0.05 per share, better than the $0.09 loss estimated. Revenues for Q1 were $83.4 million, up from the $63.14 million the Street expected.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.52%. Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.85%.

In sector news, Exxon Mobil (XOM) was down 1.04% after reporting first quarter net earnings of $9.5 billion, up 1% from $9.45 billion in the same period last year. Diluted earnings a share came in at $2.12, up 6% from $2.00 for last year. That bettered the Street's expectations of $2.03. But the group also said it saw quarterly oil and gas production fall at its depleted fields in Q1, and said it expected earnings ahead to fall at its refineries.

Commodities -

Crude was up 0.50%; natural gas was up 0.28%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.46%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.09%.

Gold was up 2.16% and silver was up 4.82%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 1.73%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 3.52%. Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X Shares (NUGT) was up 5.53%.

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs Health Care SPDR (XLV), Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were all broadly higher. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 1.61%

In corporate news, Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB) shares were up 4% after the company reported a Q1 profit of $426.7 million, or $1.79 a share, up from $302.7 million, or $1.25 a share, a year earlier. Adjusted EPS was $1.97 per share. Revenue jumped 9.5% to $1.42 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters forecast earnings of $1.61 a share on revenue of $1.42 billion. BIIB raised its full-year earnings estimate by 65 cents to between $7.80 and $7.90 a share on revenue growth of 16% to 18%. Previously, BIIB forecast revenue growth would be 10%.

Technology -

Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was up 0.75% while other tech ETFs 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) are slightly higher.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 1.91% while Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 1.56%.

SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) has gained 0.11%.

In sector news, Radware Ltd. (RDWR) was up 3.88% after it reported first quarter 2013 non-GAAP net income of $7 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, compared to consensus estimate of $0.16. Revenues totaled $45.1 million versus consensus estimate of $45.6 million. In the corresponding period last year, non-GAAP net income was $9 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, on revenues of $45.02 million. The company also announced plans for a $40 million share buyback.

Power Play -

Consumer -

Consumer ETFs were trading near their 52-week highs: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.25%; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), up 0.85%; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up 0.31%.

In sector news, Colgate-Palmolive (CL) was up 1.9% and touched a new 52-week high of $122.40 after the group said problems in South America that led to it missing Q1 net profit estimates would not change its full year profit guidance. Colgate reported worldwide net sales of $4.315 billion in Q1, an increase of 2.5% versus a year ago. But net income and diluted EPS were $460 million and $0.97, respectively, missing the Street's consensus of $1.32.

That performance compared with net income of $593 million or EPS of $1.23 a year ago. The multinational said its earnings were whacked by the currency devaluation in February in Venezuela, where it does around 5% of total revenue. Venezuelan problems aside, CEO Ian Cook said he expected strong organic earnings growth to continue in 2013.

"In light of the ongoing impact of the Venezuela currency devaluation in 2013, which we still expect to be $0.05 to $0.07 per quarter, we continue to expect diluted earnings per share to grow 5.5% to 6.5% for the year, on a dollar basis," Cook said.

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 , IWM , SPY , VXX , XLF

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