Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Erase Gains as Russia Imposes Own Sanctions on E.U., U.S.


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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.44%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): -0.47%

iPath S&P 500 VIX ST Futures ETN ( VXX ): -3.11%

iShares MSCI Italy Index ( EWI ): -3.02%

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): -0.44%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV slipped into the red at the session's half. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.01%.

U.S. stocks also erased gains as investors digested the news that Russia struck back with its own sanctions against the EU and U.S. These include the total ban on deliveries of beef, pork, fruit, vegetables, poultry, fish, cheese, milk and dairy products from the European Union, the U.S., Australia, Canada and Norway. However, analysts have pointed out that the ban would not affect majority of the Russian population as it is largely dependent domestic food sources. The ban also would have little impact on EU's overall economy.

Russia also said airlines from Ukraine are now prohibited from using Russia's airspace to fly to other countries in Eastern Europe like Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia and Turkey.

Earlier gains were spurred by the report that weekly jobless claims fell by 14,000 to 289,000 last week, much lower than the expected decline to 305,000. Continuing claims decreased by 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 2.52 million.

Still ahead, the Federal Reserve is set to report on consumer credit for June at 3 p.m. ET.

Power Play: Technology

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 edging lower. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was flat.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was down 0.66% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down 00.59%.

Stratasys (SSYS) was up 18.24% after reporting better-than-expected Q2 results and as it raised its guidance for FY2014. The provider of 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions said non-GAAP income rose to 51% to $0.55 per diluted share, exceeding the $0.44 average estimate from analysts polled by Capital IQ. Sales rose 67% to $178.5 million, also coming in ahead of the $157 million consensus. On a reported basis, Stratasys reported a narrower net loss at $173,000 or breakeven on a per diluted share-basis compared to a loss of $2.8 million or $0.07 a year ago.

The company said it now expects sales between $750 million and $770 million in 2014, up from $660 million to $680 million and ahead of the $688 million, and non-GAAP EPS of $2.25 to $2.35, up from $2.15 -- $2.25 and compared to the $2.18 average estimate.

Winners and Losers


Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was down 0.4%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 1.31% while its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 1.24%.

Springleaf Holdings (LEAF) was up 13.62% and reached record high after it reported Q2 net income of $72 million, or $0.63, versus $56 million or $0.56 per share in the comparable quarter a year ago. Core earnings were $59 million or $0.52 per share, compared with $79 million or $0.79 per share. Analysts polled by Capital IQ were expecting EPS of $0.45.


Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was down 1.05%; Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 0.96%.

Lehigh Gas Partners LP (LGP) was up 23% following news that CST Brands (CST) will purchase 100% of the membership interests of LGP from Lehigh Gas Corp. and all of the outstanding IDRs of LGP for $17 million in cash and approximately 2.044 million shares of CST common stock. Based on the closing share price of CST Brands stock as of August 5, the total consideration is currently valued at approximately $85 million. CST shares were up 6.29% and reached a record high.


Crude was up 0.10%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.11%. Natural gas was down 0.13% and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.69%.

Gold was up 0.45%, and silver was up 0.05%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.53% and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.23%.


Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) were weaker.

Jack In The Box (JACK) was up 8.43% after reporting Q3 non-GAAP EPS of $0.65, beating the mean Bloomberg estimate for $0.57. Total sales were $348.492 million, above forecasts for $343 million. Q4 same-store sales are expected to increase approximately 1.5% to 2.5 % and operating earnings between $2.38 to $2.45 for the year.

Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV), iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) and Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) were in the red. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down 0.70%.

Thoratec (THOR) was down nearly 29% after reporting Q2 sales of $118.1 million, below the mean Bloomberg estimate of $128 million. Non-GAAP EPS were $0.43, matching forecasts. FY sales are seen between $455 million to $470 million, below predictions for $523 million. Non-GAAP EPS are seen between $1.25 to $1.35, missing forecasts for $1.75.

Separately, it says its CE mark clinical trial for HeartMate PHP (Percutaneous Heart Pump) has commenced. It also has entered into a $30 million Accelerated Share Repurchase (ASR) agreement.

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

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

This article appears in: Investing Commodities
Referenced Stocks: SPY , EEM , VXX , EWI , IWM

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