Mid-Day ETF Update: Broad Market ETF's Mixed, International Funds Shine

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Active broad market exchange-traded funds at mid-day Tuesday:

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.08%

Select Sector SPDR Fund Financial ( XLF ) -0.05%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ( VXX ) +0.51%

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EMM ) +0.53%

Power Shares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ) +0.31%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others are mixed. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) is up 0.31%.

U.S. stocks were mixed at mid-day, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq slightly firmer and the Dow Jones just in the red. Investors were digesting a slew of economic data with an unexpected contraction in the MNI Chicago Report's business barometer offsetting positive news on consumer confidence and housing prices. The barometer fell to 49 in April, the lowest since September 2009, from 52.4 last month. Confidence among U.S. consumers climbed more than forecast in April according the Conference Board, while The S&P/Case-Schiller index of property showed residential real-estate prices increased in February by the most since May 2006. Disappointing results from Pfizer (PFE) also weighed on the market.

Winners and Losers

International -

International ETFs were among the best performers with the Russia Capped Index (ERUS) up 1.57% and the iShares MSCI South Korea Index Fund (EWY) gaining 1.4%. The iShares FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Europe Index Fund up 1.37%.

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was slightly higher, up 0.11%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 0.69%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 0.67%.

Among financial stocks, UBS (UBS) reported its Q1 adjusted profit was CHF 1.4 billion, with diluted earnings of diluted earnings CHF 0.26 per share. Adjusted revenues were up CHF 1.4 billion to CHF 8.0 billion, a 21% increase. Its shares are up 6% and hit a new year high of $18.00.

Power Play - Funds with exposure to UBS include MSCI Switzerland Index Fund (EWL) and MSCI Europe Financials Sector Index Fund (EUFN).

Technology -

Tech ETFs Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW) and iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM) were firmer, while iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV) slipped into the red.

Semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) are showing modest gains.

SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was up 0.78%.

In sector news, Nuance (NUAN) was down 18% after it reported Q2 revs of $484 mln, below the analyst consensus of $516 mln on Capital IQ. EPS was was $0.34, vs. expectations of $0.40 per share. The company said the results were driven by a combination of execution issues and external factors. Nuance also said it intends to buy back up to $500 million of its shares.

Industrial -

Industrial ETFs Vanguard Industrials (VIS) was flat, iShares Trust Dow Jones U.S. Industrial Sector Index Fund (IYJ) was slightly firmer, and Select Sector SPDR-Industrial (XLI) is lower.

Among stocks, U.S. Steel (X) was down 1.5%, off earlier lows, after it posted a Q1 net loss of $73 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, substantially narrowing the loss of $219 million for the same period last year or a negative $1.52. Adjusted loss was $0.35, bigger than consensus. That was on Q1 net sales of $4.6 billion, down from $5.2 billion last year. Consensus was for a negative EPS of $0.19 according to Zacks Investment Research. The group said it had a strong liquidity position with $733 million of cash and $2.5 billion of total liquidity.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) were both leaning higher.

In sector news, Crimson Exploration (CXPO) was up 5%, off earlier highs, after it and Contango Oil & Gas Company (MCF) announced they had agreed to merge in an all-stock transaction. After the deal Crimson will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Contango.

Commodities -

June crude was down 0.96%; June natural gas was down 0.5%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.8%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.46%.

June gold was up 0.02% and silver for July delivery was up 0.04%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.12%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.59%.

Consumer -

Consumer ETFs Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was down 0.34%, iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) was off 0.1% and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) slipped 0.34%.

In sector news, Office Depot (ODP) was up 2.3% after it reported breakeven earnings for Q1, ex one-time items, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.05. Revenues were $2.72 billion, versus the analyst estimate of $2.75 billion. Comparable store sales decreased 5% for the quarter.

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs Health Care SPDR (XLV), Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were all modestly lower. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) is down 0.89%.

In corporate news, Transition Therapeutics (TTHI) was up 42% and hit a 52-week high of $3.84 after it announced the results of a five-week proof of concept clinical study of TT-401 in type 2 diabetic and obese non-diabetic subjects. In the study, TT-401 a once-weekly administered peptide, demonstrated significant improvements in glycemic control and reductions in body weight.

The study enrolled diabetic patients at five dosing levels and non-diabetic obese patients at one dose level. All dosing cohorts received five doses over a five week period. Diabetic patients were on stable doses of metformin. At the end of the treatment period, TT-401-treated patients in the three highest dose groups experienced statistically significant reductions in mean fasting plasma glucose relative to placebo. Statistically significant mean body weight reduction relative to baseline occurred in the three highest dose groups. A similar reduction in body weight was also observed in the obese non-diabetic cohort.



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: EMM , QQQ , SPY , VXX , XLF

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