Active broad-market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:
SPDR S&P 500 (
Financial Select Sector SPDR (
): +1.7%, near year highs.
PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 (
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (
iShares Russell 2000 Index (
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and
others, continue to be firmer. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (
) is up 1%.
U.S. stocks are logging further gains with the financials sector
leading a mid-day rally, as market sentiment rides high on hopes
that a budget deal can be reached and the so-called fiscal cliff
can be avoided. Investors are optimistic as the latest meeting
between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner
concluded today. While no comment from either side has been
released, some progress in the budget talks was gleaned over the
weekend following Boehner's comments that he would accept higher
taxes on the rich if spending for "entitlement" programs such as
Medicare and Social Security were kept in check, according to media
reports. Most investors also largely snubbed the report that the
Empire State manufacturing index remained in negative territory for
the fifth month in a row.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (
) is up 1.7%, near year highs. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X
shares (FAS) is up 4.4%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is down 4.4%
and has hit new 52 week lows
Among financial stocks, KCAP Financial (KCAP) is up 9% and
closing in on 52 week highs after the company's board of directors
approved a quarterly cash dividend of $0.28 per share of common
stock, up from the previous dividend of $0.24. The new dividend is
payable on Jan. 28, 2013 to shareholders of record at the close of
business as of Dec. 28, 2012.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is up 0.7%; Energy Select
Sector SPDR (XLE) is up 0.7%.
In sector news, Cheniere Energy Partners' (CQP) subsidiary,
Sabine Pass Liquefaction, has signed a liquefied natural gas sale
and purchase agreement with Total's (TOT) wholly owned subsidiary,
Total Gas & Power North America, under which TOT will purchase
91.25 million MMBtu of liquefied natural gas plus 13.5 million
MMBTU of seasonal liquefied natural gas volumes upon the
commencement of train five operations. The purchase will be on an
FOB basis, with the liquefied natural gas loaded onto TOT's
vessels, for a purchase price indexed to the monthly Henry Hub
price plus a fixed component. Sabine Liquefaction is currently
developing five liquefaction trains adjacent to the Sabine Pass
liquefied natural gas terminal. CQP shares are up near 5% while TOT
shares are up 1.2%.
Crude was up 0.84%; natural gas was up 1.09%. United States Oil
Fund (USO) is up 0.6%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) is up
Gold was down 0.05% and silver was down 0.17%. Among rare metal
funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.05%; iShares Silver Trust
(SLV) is down 0.13%.
are firmer, some nearing 52 week highs: Health Care SPDR (XLV), up
0.6%; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), up 0.68%; and iShares Dow
Jones US Healthcare (IYH), up 0.6%. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ
Biotechnology Index (IBB) is up 0.7%.
In corporate news, GenVec (GNVC) is up 38% at around $1.80 but
off a day higher $2.05 after the company earlier reported that a
single administration of its genetic vaccine was effective against
Herpes Simplex Virus or HSV2 in two industry-accepted HSV disease
models. The company added that immunization was shown to reduce
viral shedding, and the recurrence and severity of lesions. The
data was presented at the Keystone Symposia meeting on
Immunological Mechanisms of Vaccination, which is taking place in
Ottawa, Ontario from Dec. 13 to 18, 2012.
Consumer ETFs are higher, edging close to their 52-week highs:
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.25%, near year
highs; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), up 0.52%, near
year highs; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up 0.3%.
In sector news, Caribou Coffee Company (CBOU) is up 30% after
the coffeehouse operator and the Joh. A. Benckiser Group (JAB)
announced a definitive merger agreement under which an affiliate of
JAB will acquire Caribou for $16.00 per share in cash, or a total
of approximately $340 million. The agreement, which has been
unanimously approved by Caribou's independent directors, represents
a premium of approximately 30 percent over Caribou's closing stock
price on December 14, 2012, the last trading day prior to the
announcement of the transaction.
Power Play -
Tech ETFs are firmer: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK),
up 0.8%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), up 0.95%;
iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), up 1.1%; and
iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), up
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is up
0.18% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) is up 0.33%.
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is up
0.30%, near year highs.
In sector news, Sprint (S) has turned slightly negative, paring
pre-market gains of more than 1%, after it agreed to acquire the
approximately 50% stake in the company it does not currently own
for $2.97 per share, equating to a total payment to Clearwire
shareholders, other than Sprint, of $2.2 billion.
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