Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Give Up Gains as Ukraine Tensions Rekindle; Draghi Speech Still Ahead


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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.13%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): -0.45%

iPath S&P 500 VIX ST Futures ETN ( VXX ): +0.83%

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): +0.13%

Select Sector Financial SPDRs ( XLF ): -0.22%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV were weaker. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.31%, reaching a 14-year high.

U.S. stocks edged lower at Friday's session half, giving earlier modest gains as worries over tensions between Ukraine and Russia were rekindled by news that the head of Ukraine's security service called the movement of Russian trucks into the former Soviet republic without a Red Cross escort a "direct invasion."

Earlier gains were spurred by Fed Chair Janet Yellen's comments that while the U.S.economy is closer to reaching the central bank's targets for employment or inflation, there is not yet enough ammunition to raise short-term interest rates.

Still ahead, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will also be speaking in Jackson Hole, Wyoming at 2:30 pm, ET.

Power Play: Consumer

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) were edging higher but were near record or multi-year highs.

Meanwhile, Retail ETFs SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were edging higher.

Tuesday Morning (TUES) was up 8% and climbed to an eight-year high as the company provided a positive update on finishing the final phase of its turnaround plan, despite reporting late Thursday Q4 financial results that were below Street expectations.

Michael Rouleau, the chief executive officer of the company, said, "During the fourth quarter we continued work on the final phase of the Company's turnaround program which includes the sell-off of exited categories, expansion of replacement categories, a further reduction of our clearance merchandise, and enhancements to our store layouts. Our strong comparable store sales trend, increased inventory turnover and improved cash position during the fourth quarter provides us with the confidence that our plan is working as expected and that our customers like what they see."

TUES had reported Q4 sales of $212.6 million, just below estimates for $213.11 million. Adjusted net loss was $0.08 per share, a penny below forecasts for a loss of $0.07. In the same period last year, TUES reported an adjusted loss of $0.13 per share on revenue of $202.13 million.

Winners and Losers

Financial

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 0.22%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 0.53% while its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 0.49%.

Allied World Assurance (AWH) was up 0.44% after the insurer announced late Thursday a deal to acquire the Hong Kong and Singapore operations of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance for around $215 million in cash. The transaction is seen as complementing AWH's global specialist insurance strategy and adding scale in the Asia-Pacific region. The acquired business also includes a niche group of specialty lines, including casualty, construction and engineering, marine and property and wrote around $250 million in gross premiums during 2013. AWH expects the deal will immediately add to its per-share earnings. It will fund the purchase with cash on hand, with plans on spending another $90 million to adequately capitalize the business on an ongoing basis.

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) reached multi-year highs. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was flat.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 0.11% while Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 0.01%.

Salesforce.com (CRM) was up 9.24% after it reported Q2 adjusted EPS of $0.13, a penny ahead of the analyst consensus on Capital IQ. Revenue was $1.32 billion, better than expectations of $1.28 billion. For FY 2015, the company raised its revenue guidance by $30 million to a range of $5.34 to $5.37 billion. The Street is at $5.33 billion. Earnings are seen at $0.50 to $0.52, vs. expectations of $0.50 per share. For Q3, the company expects revenue of $1.365 to $1.370 billion, vs. expectations of $1.366 billion. EPS is seen at $0.12 to $0.13, vs. expectations of $0.13 per share.

Energy

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was down 0.72%; Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 0.81%.

Tesco Corp (TESO) was down 1.85% after company said CEO Julio Quintana will retire, effective Jan. 1, 2015. The company selected Fernando Assing - currently chief operating officer and executive vice president at the firm - to succeed Quintana, who steps down after nearly nine years at the helm. Quintana will keep his seat on the company's board of directors through the end of his current term.

Commodities

Crude was down 0.69%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.68%. Natural gas was down 0.71% and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.75%.

Gold was up 0.48%, while silver was up 0.25%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.19% and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.05%.

Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV), iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) and Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) climbed to record highs. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.63%.

Aastrom Biosciences (ASTM) was up 10.44% after the company said that results from its Phase 2a clinical studies of ixmyelocel-T for the treatment of advanced heart failure show a reduced incidence of major adverse cardiovascular events in patients with ischemic DCM. The trial results were published in the peer-reviewed journal Circulation Research. In two separate open-label studies, a total of 61 patients were randomized and 59 were treated or received standard of care. The combined results among ischemic DCM patients demonstrated that patients treated with ixmyelocel-T experienced fewer major cardiovascular events during follow up compared to control patients.

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) 2016 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.



This article appears in: Investing , Commodities
Referenced Symbols: SPY , EEM , VXX , IWM , XLF


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