Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs Firmer, Stocks Higher On Better-Than-Expected ISM Data, Bernnake QE3 Comments

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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.5%

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): +0.02%

Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): +0.7%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM ( VXX ): -1.1%, near 52-week low

PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): +0.07%

Broad Market Indicators

Most broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, continue to be firmer. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) is up 0.07%, but off day highs.

U.S. stocks are gaining after better-than-expected ISM data. The manufacturing gauge grew to 51.5 last month from 49.6 in August, the highest reading since May. Also lending support to the markets, Fed Chief Ben Bernake addressed some of the concerns related to QE3, saying that the basic monetary policy strategy had not changed and that the government still aims to keep inflation under control. Meanwhile, U.S. August construction sending fell 0.6%, below the forecasts of a 0.5% growth.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) is up 0.7%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is up 1.6%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is down 1.3%.

Among financial actives, MGIC Investment Corp. (MTG) is up 16% after Freddie Mac late Friday cut the mortgage insurer's capital requirements by half to $100 million. The government housing-finance body also approved MTG's underwriting unit to again sell coverage in 16 jurisdictions excluding its home state of Wisconsin, pending resolution of a dispute over covered mortgages. The company has until Oct. 31 to resolve the dispute with the agency to retain its authority to issue mortgage insurance.

Technology -

Tech ETFs Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), down 0.1% from near year highs; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), down 0.1%; and iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), up 0.45%. iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV) is down 1%.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is down 0.7% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX), is now down 0.3%.

SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is up 1.76%.

In sector news, Versant Corp (VSNT) is up 15% after the database management software company agreed to be acquired by UNICOM Systems (CHU) for $11.50 a share, or about $32 million overall. The deal is expected to close during VSNT's fiscal Q1 ending Jan. 31, 2013, with VSNT able to solicit alternative buyout proposals from other firms through Oct. 29. CHU executives said they were withdrawing their financial guidance for the company's FY12 ending Oct. 31 because of the deal and also said the company would be suspending its stock repurchase program. CHU is up 1.04%.

Energy -

Among Energy ETFs, Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is up 0.7% and the Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) is up 0.9%.

Commodities -

Crude was up 0.2% while natural gas was up 3.49%. United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 0.41%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) is up 4%.

Gold and silver for December delivery turned higher, up 0.25% and 0.69% respectively. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.36%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 1.1%.

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs are higher, mostly nearing their year high levels: Health Care SPDR (XLV), up 0.6%; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), up 0.5%; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), up 0.5%. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) is up 0.4%.

In corporate news, Fonar Corp. (FONR) is up 34% but off day highs after reporting a $0.91 a share FY12 profit, up from $0.55 a share during the previous fiscal year. Revenue for the maker of "stand-up" magnetic resonance imaging devices rose 19% to $39.4 million.

Power Play -

Consumer -

Consumer ETFs are higher in mid-day action: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.5% and near year highs; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), up 0.5%; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up 0.6%, also near 12 month highs.

With retail ETFs: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), is now down 0.22%; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), up 0.8%; and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), up 0.3%, touching a new year high of $45.28.



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.

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


This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: IWM , QQQ , SPY , VXX , XLF

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