Active broad-market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:
SPDR S&P 500 (
): +0.8%, hit new year highs.
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (
Financial Select Sector SPDR (
): +0.7%, nearer 52 week highs.
PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 (
iShares Russell 2000 Index (
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and
others, are firmer. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (
) is up 1.6%.
U.S. stocks are higher as investors grow optimistic following a
report in the Wall Street Journal that budget talks have made
steady progress over the past few days,. Also, House Speaker John
Boehner said he is "hopeful" that the fiscal deal can be reached.
Many market watchers also believe the Federal Reserve, which is
holding a two-day meeting, will introduce further monetary stimulus
in Q4 and this is helping market sentiment.
Winners and Losers
are well in the green: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), up
1.6%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), up 1.7%; iShares
S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), up 1.54%; and iShares
S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), up
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is up
2.6%; and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) is up 2%.
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is up
0.69%, near its year high.
In sector news, Texas Instruments (TXN) is up 3.9% after the
company said late Monday that it expects Q4 revenue in the range of
$2.89 to $3.01 bln, within its previous guidance range of $2.83 to
$3.07 bln and straddling the analyst consensus of $2.94 bln on
Capital IQ. The company expects EPS of $0.05 to $0.09 per share,
vs. its prior view of $0.23 to $0.31 per share. EPS now includes
$0.21 of charges associated with previously announced restructuring
in the company's Wireless segment. The Street is at $0.33 per
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is up 0.7%; Energy Select
Sector SPDR (XLE) is up also around 0.7% higher.
In sector news, Spectra Energy (SE) has acquired 100% of the
ownership interests in the Express-Platte Pipeline System from
Borealis Infrastructure, the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMP) for $1.49 billion, consisting
of $1.25 billion cash and $240 million of acquired debt. The
acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings,
with expected full-year 2013 EBITDA of about $130 million and
full-year annual EPS accretion in the $0.03 to $0.05 per share
range. SE shares are down 0.6% having earlier gone close to 52 week
lows while KMP shares are down 2%.
Crude was up 0.27%; natural gas was down 0.35%. United States
Oil Fund (USO) is up 0.03%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG)
has turned negative and is now down 0.66%.
Gold was down 0.27%. Silver was down 1.07%. Among rare metal
funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.17%; iShares Silver Trust
(SLV) is down 0.81%.
Healthcare ETFs are higher: Health Care SPDR (XLV), up 1.2%,
near its year high; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), up 1.2%; and
iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) is up 1.1%, also nearing its
52-week high. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB)
is up 1.4%.
In corporate news, Somaxon Pharmaceuticals (SOMX) is now up
nearly 80% after the company said it will be acquired by Pernix
Therapeutics (PTX) in a stock-for-stock transaction with a total
equity value of $25 million. Under the terms of the agreement, SOMX
stockholders will receive aggregate consideration equal to $25
million in PTX common stock. The number of shares of PTX common
stock to be issued to SOMX stockholders will be based on the
volume-weighted average price of PTX's common stock over the 30 day
period ending on the day immediately prior to the closing of the
proposed merger, subject to limitations on the maximum and minimum
number of shares of Pernix common stock issuable in the
transaction, based on a price range of $6.00 to $9.00 per share.
PTX shares are down 0.5% at around $7.89, but well above a day low
Consumer ETFs are showing strength in mid-day: Consumer Staples
Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.4%, nearing its year high; iShares
Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), up 0.7%, with a new year high of
$76.71; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up 0.6%, also
nearing its year high.
Retail ETFs are firmer: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), up 0.6%;
PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), up 0.9%; and Market Vectors
Retail ETF (RTH), up 0.29%, reaching a new year high of $45.37.
In sector news, Urban Outfitters (URBN) is up 4.8% to near 52
week highs after it disclosed that comparable Retail segment net
sales so far in Q4 are high single-digit positive, which is above
the mid single-digit Street forecast of about 4.7% increase in
comps. The company said it expects better sales Q4 and the holiday
season. Shares were also initiated with a Neutral rating and a
price target of $42 a share at Goldman Sachs.
Power Play -
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (
) is up 0.6%, near year highs. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X
shares (FAS) is up 1.8%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is down 1.8%
and nearer 52 week lows.
Among financial stocks, American International Group (AIG) is
now up 4.8%, adding to earlier gains, after the U.S. Department of
the Treasury sold an offering of about 234.2 million shares of AIG
common stock at a price to market of $32.50 per share. Upon the
closing of this transaction, the Treasury will have sold the last
of its remaining shares of AIG common stock, receiving proceeds of
$7.6 billion from the sale. The closing of the transaction will
also mark the full resolution of the U.S.'s financial support of