Mid-Day ETF Update: Broad Market ETFs Slightly Firmer, Biotech Funds Shine


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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.74%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM ( VXX ): -5.8%

ProShares Trust II ( UVXY ): +7%

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): +1%

PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ) +1.4%

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund (EEM) +1.6%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, were firmer. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) is up 1.4%.

U.S. stocks were marginally higher, bouncing back from recent losses that took the S&P 500 below its 50-day moving average on Thursday, helped by earnings beats from Google and Microsoft. However, the Dow is just lower after IBM (IBM) missed sales expectations late Thursday and GE (GE) and McDonald's (MCD) failed to impress the Street on Friday morning.

Volumes, though, were thin as Boston is on lock-down due to a manhunt for a suspected participant in Monday's Boston marathon bombing.

Winners and Losers

Technology -

Tech ETFs 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 all firmer, with IGV up 0.8%.

Semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) were mixed with XSD down 0.2% and SOXX gaining 0.7%.

SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was unchanged at $26.99.

In sector news, SAP (SAP) reported Q1 earnings of euro0.58 per share, up from euro0.49 per share last year. Total revenue was euro3.63 billion, up from euro3.35 billion. Analysts pegged revenue at euro3.8 billion. The company reiterated its full year 2013 outlook.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) were slightly lower towards noon, down 0.09% and 0.2% respectively.

Statoil (STO) made a significant new discovery offshore Norway, containing 40-150 million recoverable barrels of oil equivalents. The Norwegian group said the discovery, in the Gullfaks field had further upside potential and would extend the life of the field, which was originally expected to extend to 2030.

Commodities -

May crude was slightly firmer up 0.14%; July natural gas was down 0.3%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.5%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.6%.

June gold was up 0.5% and silver for May delivery has fallen 0.4%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.7%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was slightly firmer, up 0.17%.

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs Health Care SPDR (XLV), Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) are all trading higher. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) has gained 3.8%, setting a new 52-week high of $171.62, while the First Trust Amex Biotechnology Fund (FBT) is one of the top performers this session, up 4.9%.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX) has been upgraded to a Neutral rating from a Sell by analysts at Goldman Sachs. The firm has set the price target on the stock at $86 a share.

VRTX says data from a Phase 2 study of VX-661 and ivacaftor showed statistically significant improvements in lung function among adults with cystic fibrosis (CF) who have two copies (homozygous) of the most common mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene, known as F508del. The stock is up 58% at $83.36.

Consumer -

Consumer ETFs Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) are all trading higher.

McDonald's (MCD) reports Q1 earnings of $1.26 per share, in line with the analyst consensus on Capital IQ. Revenue was $6.6 bilion, just ahead of the Street view of $6.59 bilion. MCD was down 1.8% at $100.06.

Power Play -

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was up 1.18%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 3.3%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 3.3%.

Among financial stocks, SunTrust Banks, Inc. (STI) reported Q1 earnings per share of $0.63, better than consensus estimate of $0.61. Total revenues came in at $2.1 billion versus consensus estimate of $2.3 billion. In the prior-year period, earnings per share was $0.46, with total revenues of $2.2 billion.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities
More Headlines for: IWM , QQQ , SPY , UVXY , VXX

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