Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs Firmer, Stocks Extend Gains On Retail Sales; Gets Boost from Sprint and Softbank Deal, Citigroup Earnings


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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.7%

Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): +0.9%, nearer year highs

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): +0.6%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN ( VXX ): -2.9%

PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): +0.4%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, continue to be firmer. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) is up 0.4%.

U.S. stocks are settling in to an upward momentum after a mixed start. Market sentiment was boosted by the Commerce Department's report that September retail sales, ex auto, increased 1.1%, above forecasts of a growth of 0.8%, according to a poll by Market Watch. Total business inventories for August also increased 0.6%. Despite the continued contraction of the Empire Manufacturing Index in October, stocks were boosted by corporate news such as Sprint's (S) deal with Softbank and Citigroup's (C) upbeat earnings.

Winners and Losers

Technology -

Tech ETFs are in the green in mid-day action: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), up 0.2%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), up 0.3%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), up 0.2%; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), up 0.4%.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is up 1.2% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) is up 1.2%.

SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is up 1.11%.

Among tech stocks, Clearwire (CLWR) is up 15% and has hit new year highs after Sprint (S) announced a deal where SoftBank will invest $20.1 bln in Sprint, consisting of $12.1 billion to be distributed to Sprint stockholders and $8.0 billion of new capital to strengthen Sprint's balance sheet. Through this transaction, approximately 55% of current Sprint shares will be exchanged for $7.30 per share in cash, and the remaining shares will convert into shares of a new publicly traded entity, New Sprint. Following closing, SoftBank will own approximately 70% and Sprint equity holders will own approximately 30% of the shares of New Sprint on a fully-diluted basis. Sprint, a major investor in Clearwire, is off 1.2%.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is up 0.4%; Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) is up 0.3%.

In sector news, Longwei Petroleum Investment Holding Ltd. (LPH) is up 10%, spiking to fresh new year highs after the company commenced operations at its Huajie fuel storage depot in northern Shanxi Province. The company received its first shipment of petroleum to the new Huajie facility last week and began to sell product to customers on October 11, 2012.

Commodities -

Crude was down 0.77%, trimming earlier losses to trade back up near $91 a barrel. Oil had slipped below $90 a barrel due to global demand worries. Natural oil was likewise down 2.95%. United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 0.5%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) is down 3%.

Gold and silver were lower, down 1.41% and 2.6% respectively. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 1%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 2.3%.

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs Health Care SPDR (XLV), up 1.3% and nearer year highs; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), up 1%; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), up 1.1%. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) is up 0.2%.

Consumer -

Consumer ETFs have turned to the positive territory in mid-day trading: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.7%, near its year high; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), up 0.8%; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) up 0.6%.

Retail ETFs are firmer: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), up 0.5%; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), up 1%; and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) up 0.8%, hit 52 week highs.

Power Play -

Financial -

The financial sector continues to be firmer. Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) is up 0.9%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is up 2.3%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is down 2.2%.

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

Copyright (C) 2014 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities
Referenced Symbols: IWM , QQQ , SPY , VXX , XLF

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