Mid-Day ETF Update: Asian Funds Lead ETF Rally, As Stocks Set to Close Week Higher Despite Mixed Econ Data

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

SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust ( SPY ): +0.11%, with fresh new 52-week highs

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +2%

iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index ( FXI ): +4.97%

iShares MSCI Japan Index ( EWJ ): +1.29%, near 52-week highs

Select Sector Financial SPDRs ( XLF ): +0.33%, with a new 52-week high

Broad Market Indicators

Many broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others were higher, and earlier reached or neared fresh 52-week highs. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was off 0.06%, after reaching a new 52-week high. Top Asian funds iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index ( FXI ) and iShares MSCI Japan Index ( EWJ ) were among top gainers.

U.S. stocks were firmer in the session's half, as optimism following Janet Yellen's remarks defending the Federal Reserve's bond-buying program continued, trumping mixed economic data. The New York manufacturing index turned negative for the month of November, declining to a negative 2.2, and missing economists' expectations. September U.S. wholesale inventories climbed 0.4%; export prices, ex ag, went down 0.4% in October while import prices, ex oil, were unchanged.

Power Play: Healthcare

Health Care SPDR (XLV) was up 0.15%, and earlier reached a new 52-week high. Likewise, Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were also in the green, both touching fresh new 52-week highs. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 1%.

Among stocks, Cadence Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CADX) climbed 36% to a new 52-week high after the biopharmaceutical company announced late Thursday the Delaware Court's ruling in favor of Cadence in its patent infringement lawsuit against Exela Pharma Sciences, LLC. In August 2011, Cadence and SCR Pharmatop, the patent owner, filed suit against Exela for infringement of two patents covering OFIRMEV (Acetaminophen) Injection. The Court rejected Exela's claims that these patents are invalid and found that Exela's ANDA for a generic version of the product infringes both of these patents.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 0.33%, with a fresh new 52-week high. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 1.11%, also with a new 52-week high. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 1.05% after sinking to a new 52-week low.

Among financial stocks, EMC Insurance (EMCI) was up 2.7% after it said its board of directors increased its quarterly cash dividend by 9.5% to $0.23 per share of common stock. Previously, the insurance-holding company's dividend rate was $0.21 per share. The new dividend is payable Dec. 3 to shareholders of record Nov. 25.

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) all firmed in the session's half and touched new 52-week highs.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was in the red, while Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) saw some gains - both were at the higher end of their 52-week ranges. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was flat.

Among stocks, Agilent Technologies (A) was up some 8% and reached a new 52-week high, helping to lift the broader technology space after its earnings beat. reported Q4 EPS of $0.81 per share on revenues of $1.72 billion, topping the the analyst consensus of $0.76 per share on revenue of $1.70 billion. The company's Q1 guidance of $0.65 - $0.67 EPS on revenues of $1.68 billion - $1.70 billion were below estimates; its outlook for FY14 is $3.03 - $3.33 on revenues of $6.95 billion - $7.15 billion.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) were edging higher, both reaching new 52-week highs earlier.

In sector news, Susser Holdings (SUSS) and Susser Petroleum Partners (SUSP) signed a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of the convenience store assets and fuel distribution contracts of Sac-N-Pac Stores, Inc. and 3W Warren Fuels, Ltd. SUSS shares were up 1.27%, with a new 52-week high; SUSP shares were up 2%.

Commodities -

Crude was down 0.02%; likewise, United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.03%. Meanwhile, natural gas was up 1.04%, and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 0.84%.

Gold was up 0.24%, and SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.19%. Silver was up 0.21%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.15%.

Consumer -

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) slipped lower after reaching new 52-week highs; and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) was flat but also touched a new 52-week high.

Among stocks, Home Inns & Hotels Management (HMIN) rose more than 11% to its highest price since May 2011, after the Chinese economy hotel chain reported Q3 revenue that topped estimates and said EPS improved from a year ago. The company reported Q3 earnings of RMB 1.85, or $0.30 per share, compared with the prior-year period's RMB 0.37 per share. Adjusted earnings per ADS were RMB 3.70, or $0.64. This may not be comparable to the Capital IQ consensus estimate of $0.48 EPS. Revenues were RMB 1.74 billion, or $284.2 million, up 8.8% from RMB 1.6 billion in the same quarter last year. Analysts were looking for $278.68 million.



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: EEM , EWJ , FXI , SPY , XLF

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