Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Mixed to Lower as Worries Persist Over China's Growth Slowdown, Ukraine Vote

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

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

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +0.89%


iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ( VXX ): +0.54%

iShares MSCI Japan ETF ( EWJ ): -0.67%

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM )): +0.50%

Broad Market Indicators

Most broad market exchange-traded funds continued in negative territory. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was down 0.04%.

U.S. stocks were mixed to weaker at session's half, with market reaction muted to the economic data released Friday: consumer sentiment fell to its lowest reading since November, while wholesale prices slipped 0.1% in February. Concerns about the slowdown in China's economy are still weighing on market sentiment; worries over Ukraine also resurfaced ahead of the referendum vote in Crimea this weekend.

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 higher. Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) was up 0.5% and reached a record high.

Among stocks, Ann Inc. (ANN) is up some 8% after the retailer of women's apparel, shoes and accessories reported fiscal Q4 earnings above analysts' expectations and said it is implementing a strategic realignment that is expected to generate $25 million in ongoing yearly savings. For the quarter ended Feb. 1, the company reported earnings of $0.10 per diluted share, topping the $0.07 average estimate from analysts polled by Capital IQ. Sales rose to $623.3 million, just shy of the $625 million consensus estimate. Comparable-store sales rose 2.9% in the quarter. For fiscal 2014, the company expects net sales to be $2.62 billion, compared with the $2.6 billion analyst estimate.

Winners and Losers

Financial

Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was down 0.23%, but near its five-year high. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 0.59%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 0.54%.

Among sector news, American depository receipts of UBS AG (UBS) fell nearly 3% Friday after bank regulators in Hong Kong released results of a probe of the Swiss Bank's traders, accused of trying to rig a local benchmark interest rate. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority investigated all nine of the banks making daily submissions used to determine the Hong Kong Interbank Offered Rate, examining over 31 million emails and other communication records, only finding evidence of misconduct at UBS and no indications of collusion between it or any of the other banks to rig the HIBOR fixing.

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

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 0.81%, and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 0.12%.

In stocks news, Codexis (CDXS) was up more than 4% after the producer of custom industrial enzymes said it has sold its subsidiary in Hungary to Intrexon Corporation for $1.5 million. CDXS said no proprietary materials or intellectual property were included in the transaction.

Energy

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) were both higher, up 0.37% and 0.27% respectively.

In corporate news, Vaalco Energy Inc (EGY) rose as much as 15% after the company reported that during its fiscal Q4, it earned $26.4 million, or $0.46 per share, reversing a $0.33 net loss in year-ago quarter and beating the Capital IQ consensus by $0.12 per share. Revenue rose 8.8% year over year to $58.3 million. No analyst estimates for revenue were available for comparison.

Commodities

Crude was up 0.3%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.17%. Natural gas was up 0.25%; United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.21%.

Gold was up 0.22% and silver was up 0.86%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.21%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.83%.

Healthcare

Health Care SPDR (XLV), Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were in th green. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.26%.

In corporate news, Dyax Corp. (DYAX) tumbled more than 10% after the biopharmaceutical company said Friday that it has priced an underwritten public offering of 8 million common shares at $9.25 each, a discount of almost 9% to Thursday's closing price. The company expects gross proceeds to be $74 million. The offering is expected to close on or about March 19, 2013, subject to customary closing conditions.



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 , VXX , EWJ , IWM

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