Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Turn Negative on Weak Q4 GDP, Home Sales Data


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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.30%

PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): -0.49%

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): -0.36%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +1.12%

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ): -0.99%

Broad Market Indicators

Most broad market exchange-traded funds were weaker. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was down 0.49%.

U.S. stocks slipped into negative territory, giving up earlier gains, following downbeat home sales data and weaker-than-expected Q4 GDP. The National Association of Realtors reported that the index of pending home sales fell to 93.9 in February - the lowest reading since October 2011. In January, the index had a reading of 94.7. Earlier, the U.S. government reported that the final Q4 GDP data showed a 2.6% expansion, up from the prior rate of 2.4%, but missed the 2.7% estimated by economists polled by Bloomberg. Data from the Labor Department was more upbeat - weekly jobless claims fell by 10,000 to 311,000 - the lowest level in four months.

Power Play: Consumer

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

Retail funds SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were weaker.

Among stocks, Signet Jewelers (SIG) was up 6% and earlier reached an all-time high after it reported Q4 earnings rose to $175.2 million or $2.18 per share from $171.8 million or $2.12 per share, topping the average $2.15 estimate from analysts polled by Capital IQ. Sales rose 3.4% to $1.56 billion compared to the $1.5 billion consensus estimate. Same store sales were higher 4.3%. For fiscal 2015, Signet said it expects same store sales rising 3% to 4% while Q1 EPS before the acquisition of Zale Corporation (ZLC) is expected to be in the range $1.24 to $1.28 compared to the $1.28 analyst estimate. Acquisition costs are seen impacting EPS by between $0.01 and $0.08. ZLC shares edged higher.

Winners and Losers


Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 0.99%, but near its five-year high. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 2.57%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 2.4%.

Among sector news, money transfer and payment services company Moneygram (MGI) was down some 6% after it has signed an agreement to connect to money transfer technology hub HomeSend to enable its customers to remit funds to mobile accounts of HomeSend hub members across the globe. HomeSend has live deployments in more than 50 countries.


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 weaker. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was up 2.62%.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was down 1%, and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down 0.8%.

In stocks news, Leidos (LDOS) was down nearly 1 % after it reported net income from continuing operations for Q4 2014 was $47 million, or $0.56 per diluted share, which would have been ahead of the $0.47 Capital IQ consensus, if comparable. Year-ago net income from continuing operations was $148 million, or $1.73 per diluted share. Revenue fell to $1.3 billion from $1.6 billion but is still in line with Street view. For fiscal 2015, the company is targeting non-GAAP diluted EPS of $2.35 to $2.55 on revenues of $4.9 billion to $5.1 billion. Analysts polled by Capital IQ are looking for diluted EPS of $2.88 and revenues of $5.3 billion.


Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) were both firmer, and near their multi-year highs.

In corporate news, Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) gained slightly after it was announced the company will be removed from the S&P 500 Index on April 1. S&P Dow Jones Indices said the iron ore and coal miner would be placed in a steel sub-industry index of the S&P 400 instead.


Crude was up 1.38%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 1.5%. Natural gas was up 1.89%; United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 2%.

Gold was down 0.48% and silver was down 0.38%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.41%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.37%.

Healthcare and Biotechnology

Health care funds Health Care SPDR (XLV), Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were lower. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down 0.58%.

In corporate news, Orthofix (OFIX) was up 13% even as the company said it swung to a net loss in Q4 2013 due to $6.5 million charges related to U.S. government resolutions. It said net loss was $9.3 million, or $0.52 per diluted share, compared to a net income of $16 million, or $0.81 per diluted share, a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, net loss was $2.2 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, versus adjusted net income of $17.3 million, or $0.88 per diluted share, last year. Net sales for the quarter were down 10% year-on-year to $106.1 million. Analyst estimates weren't available for comparison.

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 , QQQ , IWM , EEM , XLF

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