Active broad-market exchange-traded funds in Thursday's regular
SPDR S&P 500 (
PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 (
iShares Russell 2000 Index (
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (
Broad Market Indicators
Most broad market exchange-traded funds were weaker. Actively
traded PowerShares 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 (
) 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
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
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
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
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.
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