Active broad-market exchange-traded funds in Wednesday's regular
SPDR S&P 500 (
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (
iShares Russell 2000 Index (
iPath S&P 500 VIX ST Futures ETN (
Select Sector SPDR Fund - Financial (
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV
continued to trade in the negative territory. Likewise, actively
traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was down 0.01%, but hit a new 13-year
U.S. stocks were weaker at session's half as market sentiment
remained gloomy following the World Bank's move to cut its forecast
for global growth. The World Bank projected that global economic
growth will be 2.8%, from a 3.2% increase forecasted in January. It
also said growth in emerging markets will likely face headwinds due
to military conflicts, possible interest rate hikes and a
reluctance to make policy changes in many countries.
Power Play: Health Care
Health care funds were slightly lower but were still outpacing
the broader market. Health Care SPDR (XLV), iShares Dow Jones US
Healthcare (IYH) and Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) were higher.
Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up
In corporate news, Northwest Biotherapeutics (NWBO) climbed 15%
after the biotechnology company said in its ongoing Phase I/II
clinical trial of DCVax-Direct for all types of inoperable solid
tumors, all nine patients who have received four of the six planned
injections are showing tumor-cell death, tumor shrinkage,
substantial immune cell accumulation in their tumors and/or
stabilization of their advanced cancer. In addition, biopsies in
three of the nine patients show no live tumor cells in the injected
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (
) was down 0.72%, near multi-year highs. Direxion Daily Financial
Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 2.13%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ,
was up 2.15%, near record lows.
Among sector news, Credit Suisse Group (CS) was down nearly 1%
after a Wall Street Journal report said the firm could become much
less popular among Swiss taxpayers because it apparently intends to
take a tax write off on a large portion of its $2.8 billion
settlement for helping Americans evade taxes. The Journal said the
bank has indicated that about $800 million of the settlement could
be written off in Swiss taxes, leaving a shortfall in Switzerland's
public accounts. The matter is expected to be taken up by the Swiss
parliament. Stefan Hostettler, head of policy for the Social
Democratic Party in Switzerland, said Swiss taxpayers had trouble
understanding how a bank could be fined and then pass at least part
of that cost on to taxpayers. The Journal reported that Bank of
America's (BAC) proposed $12 billion mortgage settlement with the
Department of Justice could similarly be reduced by the bank taking
billions in tax write offs on the settlement, and that J.P Morgan
(JPM) might be eligible to cut the cost of its own mortgage
settlement with the DOJ by $7 billion in tax write offs, also
underwritten by the U.S. taxpayer. BAC shares are down 1.7%.
Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), iShares Dow Jones US
Technology ETF (IYW) and iShares S&P North American
Technology-Software Index (IGV) was weaker. iShares S&P North
American Technology ETF (IGM) slipped lower but earlier hit
multi-year highs. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF
(IPK) was flat.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and
Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) were higher and hit new
In corporate news, Montage Technology Group Ltd. (MONT) was up
9% after agreeing to be bought by a Chinese state-owned company.
The Shanghai-based fabless chipmaker will be acquired for $22.60 a
share by Shanghai Pudong Science and Technology Investment Co.,
according to a statement from the companies.
The offer price has a premium of 14% to Montage's closing price
of $19.78 on Tuesday. The merger values Montage's equity at about
$693 million on a fully diluted basis, the statement said. The deal
needs to be approved by Montage shareholders and government
authorities. Shanghai Pudong is wholly owned by the Pudong New Area
government of Shanghai.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.31% and Energy Select
Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.28% - near record highs.
Among stocks, Baytex Energy (BTE, BTE.TO) shares hit a fresh
1.5-year high Wednesday after the petroleum and natural-gas
explorer said it completed its acquisition of Aurora Oil & Gas
(AEF.TO) for 4.20 Australian dollars per share and confirmed a 9%
boost to its dividend concurrent with the closing. The
consideration of A$4.20 for each Aurora share held as at June 3,
2014 will be paid within the next five business days, the company
said. The monthly dividend, meanwhile, will increase to $0.24 from
$0.22 per share, payable July 15 to shareholders of record on June
Crude was down 0.02%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was down
0.16%. Natural gas was up 0.29% and United States Natural Gas Fund
(UNG) was up 0.10%.
Gold was down 0.10% and silver was up 0.01%. Among rare metal
funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.07% and iShares Silver
Trust (SLV) was down 0.14%.
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), iShares Dow Jones US
Consumer Goods (IYK), and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC)
slipped lower but were still near their record highs.
Retail ETFs SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), Market Vectors Retail ETF
(RTH), and PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) were also weaker.
Among stocks, Ulta Beauty (ULTA) rose 14% after reporting Q1
sales of $713.8 million, up 22.5% from $582.7 million recorded in
Q1 last year and ahead of the analyst consensus of $699.7 million
on Capital IQ. Comp store sales increased 8.7% for the quarter. EPS
was up 18.5% to $0.77, three cents ahead of expectations. For Q2,
the company expects sales of $706 to $717 million, vs. Street
estimates of $703 million. EPS is seen at $0.78 to $0.83, vs.
expectations of $0.82 per share. The company reiterated its prior
FY 2014 guidance.
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