Active broad market exchange-traded funds in Thursday's regular
SPDR S&P 500 (
): +0.46%, near its 52-week high
Financial Select Sector SPDR (
): +0.89%, with a new 52-week high
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures (
) -1.51%, near its 52-week low
iShares MSCI Japan Index (
): +1.22%, ear its 52-week high
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and
others, were firmer at mid-day trade. Actively traded PowerShares
QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.45%.
U.S. stocks were firmer at the midsession, continuing a four
weeks of gains, as riding on upbeat economic data reported earlier.
The Conference Board reported that the leading economic index
rebounded in April from a downwardly revised reading in March.
Meanwhile, the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters reported
that the consumer sentiment index increased in April, beating
estimates. Consumer sentiment also showed an upbeat reading for the
month of May - its highest level in six years.
Winners and Losers
, Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was up 0.5%; iShares Dow
Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), up 0.42%; iShares S&P North
American Technology ETF (IGM) up 0.78%; and iShares S&P North
American Technology-Software Index (IGV) up 0.24%.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was
up 1.21% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 0.95%,
nearing its 52-week high.
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was
In sector news, Aruba Networks (ARUN) was downgraded to Perform
from Outperform and removing its $23 price target. ARUN was
plunging 27% after it reported Q3 EPS of $0.11 on revenues of
$147.1 million, versus Cap IQ consensus of $0.12 on $146 million in
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.78%, hitting a new
52-week high of $46.48; and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up
0.88%, also with a new 52-week high of $81.78.
In sector news, Emerald Oil (EOX) was down 3.02% after
announcing it has priced an underwritten public offering of 12
million shares at $6.10 per share. The company granted underwriters
a 30 day option to purchase up to an additional 1.8 million stock.
The company intends to use the net proceeds, along with cash on
hand and the proceeds from its recently announced private placement
with White Deer Energy, cash flow from operations, proceeds from
the sale of assets and additional borrowings under the credit
facility, to fund its capital budget in 2013.
Crude was up 0.24%; July natural gas was up 0.53%. United States
Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.74%, United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG)
was up 0.56%.
Gold was down 1.76% and silver was flat. Among rare metal funds,
SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 1.69%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV)
was down 1.73%, with a new 52-week low of $21.48.
Consumer ETFs were weaker: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR
(XLP) down 0.33%; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), down
0.04%; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), down 0.30%.
In sector news, JC Penney (JCP) was down 2.93%, trimming earlier
losses of some 5%, after the company reported late Thursday Q1
results that were lower than the Street's expectations. JCP posted
a Q1 adjusted loss of $1.31 per share, wider than consensus for a
$0.89 loss and sales were $2.64 billion vs estimates of $2.74
Healthcare ETFs were lower: Health Care SPDR (XLV), down 0.02%;
Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), off 0.07%, and iShares Dow Jones US
Healthcare (IYH), down 0.14%. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ
Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.17%.
In corporate news, SciClone (SCLN) joins with Zensun Science and
Technology for exclusive rights in China, Hong Kong and Macau for
Neucardin. The company projects Q1 sales of $29.8 million, which is
off estimates of $33.6 million. It reports EPS of $0.07 versus the
Street's view of $0.09. SCLn shares were down 2.21%.
Power Play -
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (
) was up 0.89%, with a new 52-week high of $19.91. Direxion Daily
Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 2.72%, with a new 52-week
high of $69.50. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 2.60%, with
a new 52-week low of $32.06.
Among financial news, UBS (UBS) upgraded U.S. Banks to
Overweight from Neutral, based on improvements in housing, loan
growth, and asset quality coupled with a growing yield.
Furthermore, the analyst is upgrading Europe banks to Neutral from
Underweight, and within the Euro-area, prefers Scandinavia and the
UK Region. Separately, UBS is downgrading Japanese and Canadian
banks, both to Neutral from Overweight. The Japan downgrade is a
result of a less attractive risk/reward ratio.
In Canada, while the analyst believes that banks are
well-capitalized, the companies are also fairly valued and thus,
have less upside potential. As a result of these regional changes,
UBS added the U.S. bank, Fifth Third (FITB), and the European bank,
Swedbank AB (SWEDA SS), to its Global Top 40 List. UBS also added
TD Bank Financial Group (TD CN) in Canada and RBS Group (RBS LN) in