Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Give Up Modest Gains as Global Growth Concerns Overshadow Upbeat Data

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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.40%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): -0.95%

iShares MSCI Japan ETF ( EWJ ): -0.88%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ( VXX ): -0.83%

Market Vectors Gold Miners ( GDX ): +2.01%

Broad Market Indicators

Most broad market exchange-traded funds reversed and were in negative territory. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was down 0.53%.

U.S. stocks also gave up gains in the session's half, as global growth concerns returned to the forefront. Weak data from China and the continuing tensions between Russia and the U.S. over Ukraine have overshadowed upbeat economic data reported earlier - retail sales in February rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3%, better than expected, while weekly jobless claims fell to the lowest level since the end of November. Meanwhile, import prices rose in February, also topping estimates. Business inventories increased in January, above forecasts.

Power Play: Consumer

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) were firmer, outperforming the broader market.

Retail ETFs SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) and PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) were weake; Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) was up 0.10%.

Among stocks, Williams-Sonoma (WSM) was up more than 10% and reached record highs after the company reported financial results for Q4 that topped analysts' expectations, issued mixed guidance, and raised its dividend. The multi-channel specialty retailer reported Q4 earnings of $1.38 per share on revenue of $1.47 billion. Comparable brand revenue growth was 10.4% for the quarter. Analysts polled by Capital IQ were expecting EPS of $1.35 on revenues of $1.42 billion.

The company expects Q1 EPS of $0.41- $0.44 on revenues of $920 million - $940 million, below the Street view. For fiscal 2014, WSM sees EPS of $3.05 - $3.15, on revenue of $4.63 billion - $4.71 billion.

Winners and Losers

Financial

Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was down 0.50%, but near its five-year high. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 1.32%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 1.51%, near its all-time low.

Among sector news, Banc of California, Inc. (BANC) was down some 1% after the multi-bank holding company reported net income available to common shareholders of $2.4 million, or $0.12 per diluted common share, compared with a loss of $3.5 million, or $0.30 per diluted common share, for Q4 2012. Analyst estimates for earnings were not available.

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 in the red, but near their record or multi-year highs. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was flat.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 0.5%, and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 0.36% - both near their record highs.

In stocks news, MagicJack VocalTec Ltd. (CALL) climbed some 20% after reporting late Wednesday non-GAAP earnings of $0.69 per share on $38 million in total net revenues, compared with analysts' prediction of $0.41 per share on $36 million in revenues. The company also gave 2014 guidance of $50 million in EBITDA and $160 million in revenues, compared to Wall Street forecasts of $46 million and $142 million respectively. The earnings include a $35 million one-time tax benefit, related to various accounting treatment changes in the U.S. and operating losses in Israel.

Energy

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) were both lower, down 0.73% and 0.75% respectively.

In corporate news, KiOR (KIOR) was down 7% on after it said it was cancelling its earnings conference call previously scheduled for 10 a.m. ET today and delaying the release of its results. The company said it will delay the Q4 release until its Annual Report on Form 10-K is filed on or before March 17, 2014. It gave no further details.

Commodities

Crude was up 0.18%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.14%. Natural gas was down 0.88%; United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 1.92%.

Gold was down 0.13% and silver was down 0.55%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.17%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.10%.

Healthcare

Health Care SPDR (XLV), Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were weaker. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down 0.93%.

In corporate news, Depomed (DEPO) climbed 11% after it reported late Wednesday net income for Q4 2013 was $0.72 per share, compared to a net loss of $0.07 per share for Q4 2012. Q4 2013 revenue of $40.6 million, up from $26.6 million a year prior. The Street expected revenue of $20 million and a loss of $0.20 per share, according to Capital IQ's consensus. For 2014, the company expects non-GAAP earnings of breakeven to $0.16 per share and revenue of approximately $200 million to $215 million. The Street calls for a loss of $0.28 per share on revenue of $26.9 million for 2014.



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


This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: SPY , EEM , EWJ , VXX , GDX

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