Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Trim Losses Following Strong Consumer Sentiment Data

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

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

PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): -0.32%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): -0.19%

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ): -0.70%

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): -0.73%

Broad Market Indicators

Most broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, and IVV, continued to trade lower, but pared earlier losses. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was down 0.33%.

U.S. stocks also trimmed their losses following the release of the University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters consumer sentiment index that reached 82.6 in its preliminary reading for April, up from 80.0 in March - the highest level since July 2013. Earlier weakness stemmed from J.P. Morgan Chase's (JPM) disappointing Q1 earnings report, which weighed on market sentiment and overshadowed upbeat producer prices data. The Labor Department had reported a 0.5% seasonally adjusted increase in PPI prices in March - greater than expected. Core PPI prices rose 0.6%, also above forecasts.

Power Play: Financial

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 0.51%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 1.69%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 1.54%.

Among financial stocks, Wells Fargo (WFC) was up 1.51% after the bank holding company reported Q1 EPS of $1.05 on revenues of $20.6 billion. The Thomson Reuters mean was for $0.97 per share on sales of $20.59548 billion.

Winners and Losers

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. 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 weaker as well.

In corporate news, NQ Mobile Inc. (NQ) was down more than 13% after it reported Q4 net revenue of $67.9 million, an increase of 126% form the same period the previous year. During the quarter, the company also reported a loss from operations of $4.7 million, while non-GAAP income from operations increased 61% to $12.6 million. Net loss attributable to NQ Mobile was $5.2 million resulting in a GAAP fully diluted loss per ADR of $0.09. Non-GAAP net income attributable to NQ Mobile rose 21% to $14.9 million. This resulted in non-GAAP fully diluted earnings per ADR of $0.22 for Q4 of 2013. NQ also identified an accounting overstatement relating to share-based compensation expenses in the unaudited financial results for Q3 or 2013.

Energy

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.06% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.09%.

Among stocks, Ceres (CERE) was down 6.29% after the agricultural biotechnology and seed company reported late Thursday a Q2 net loss of $7.2 million, or $0.29 per share, compared with the prior-year period's net loss of $9 million or $0.36 per share. Analysts polled by Capital IQ were expecting a loss of $0.29 per share. Revenue was $0.5 million, down from $1 million in the same period last year. The Street view is for $0.6 million.

Commodities

Crude was up 0.86%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.65%. Natural gas was down 0.32% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 0.39%.

Gold was up 0.11% while silver was down 0.45%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.1% and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.21%.

Consumer

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

Among stocks, Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) edged higher, up 0.18% after it said it has completed is acquisition of Siping Ginsber Draft Beer Co. following approval from Chinese regulators. Although terms of the deal were not announced, the price tag may have been about $630 million, according to media reports. Ginsber is the largest draft-making operation in China while BUD is China's third-largest brewer.

Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) edged higher, while Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) slipped lower. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.18%.

In corporate news, WellCare Health Plans' (WCG) shares were down 5% after financial blog betaville123 said the provider of managed-care services is being eyed as a takeover target by U.S. health insurance companies. Betaville123 cited unnamed people with knowledge of the matter as saying that Wellpoint Inc (WLP) has been working with bankers to study an acquisition of WCG. It said WellCare could be sold for as much as $4 billion.



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.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: SPY , QQQ , EEM , XLF , IWM

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