Active broad-market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:
SPDR S&P 500 (
PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 (
): +0.37%, near year highs
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM (
): -1.4%, still just above its 52-week low
iShares Russell 2000 Index (
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and
others, are firmer. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (
) is up 0.36% and near year highs.
U.S. stocks are edging higher, boosted by Apple (AAPL) which has
hit a new 52-week high following a favorable ruling against Samsung
in a patent infringement case. Gains, however, have been held in
check due to the release of mixed U.S. manufacturing data. The
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Index of Manufacturing Activity
showed a smaller contraction in August than July; but on the other
hand, The Production Index declined, suggesting softer growth in
output. New orders were also down. Investors are looking ahead to
the scheduled speeches of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi at the end of the
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) is up 0.3%. Direxion Daily
Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is up 1%. Its bearish counterpart,
FAZ, is down 1%. SPDR KBW Regional Banking (KRE), which tracks
U.S.-listed regional banks, is up 0.40%.
In financial news, Hudson City Bancorp (HCBK) is up nearly 16%,
near its 52-week high of $7.62, after the company earlier said that
it entered into a definitive agreement with M&T Bank
Corporation (MTB), under which Hudson City will merge into a
subsidiary of M&T. Under terms of the agreement, each Hudson
City share will receive consideration valued at 0.08403 of an
M&T share in the form of either M&T stock or cash, based
upon the election of each Hudson City shareholder, subject to
proration as specified in the merger agreement (which provides for
an aggregate split of total consideration of 60% common stock of
M&T and 40% cash). Based on the closing price of M&T stock
on August 24, 2012, the transaction is valued at approximately $3.7
billion. The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to
the combined company's capital ratios, capital generation and
tangible book value per share, as well as its GAAP and operating
earnings per share. MTB shares also hit a new year high of $90.50,
and are now up more than 4%.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is up 0.46% while Energy Select
Sector SPDR (XLE) is up 0.44%.
Seadrill Ltd. (SDRL) is up 0.4% after it posted Q2 earnings of
$1.09 per diluted share, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.79.
Revenues were $1.12 bln, versus the analyst estimate of $1.11 bln.
In the same period last year, the company reported EPS of $1.29 on
revenues of $995 mln. Additionally, the company said it increased
its ordinary quarterly cash dividend by $0.02 to $0.84.
Crude was down around 1.3%. United States Oil Fund (USO) is down
0.81%. Natural gas was down near 2%. United States Natural Gas Fund
(UNG) is down 1.85%.
Gold was up 0.15%; silver was up 1.62%. Among rare metal funds,
SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.15% while iShares Silver Trust (SLV)
is up 1.3%.
Healthcare and biotech ETFs are higher: Health Care SPDR (XLV),
up 0.28% and hit new year highs; iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index
(IBB), up 0.1%. iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), up 0.15% and
hit year highs; and Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) up 0.3%, touched
new year highs.
Idenix Pharmaceuticals (IDIX) was down 3% but is now up more
than 1% after the company was halted earlier following its
announcement that it received verbal notice from the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) that a clinical hold has been placed on
IDX19368, the company's next-generation nucleotide polymerase
inhibitor under development for the treatment of hepatitis C virus
(HCV) infection. The clinical hold is due to concerns related to
the serious cardiac-related adverse events reported for HCV
patients treated with BMS-986094, a nucleotide polymerase inhibitor
previously under development by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), it
says. To date, no patients have been exposed to IDX19368.
Consumer ETFs are firmer: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR
(XLP), up 0.3% to near year highs; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer
Goods (IYK), up 0.19%, approaching its year high of $74.97; and
Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up 0.4%.
Retail ETFs are mostly higher: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), up
0.08%; and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), up 0.2%. PowerShares
Dynamic Retail (PMR) is down 0.36%.
Among retailers, Tiffany & Co (TIF) is now up 7% after the
company reported Q2 EPS of $0.72, a penny lower than estimates.
Revenue for the quarter came in at $887 million, just missing the
$890.85 million consensus. For the full year, the company says it
sees EPS of $3.55 - $3.70, down from prior guidance of $3.70 -
$3.80. The Street is at $3.64.
Power Play -
Tech ETFs are still inching up in mid-day action: Technology
Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), up 0.23%, nearing its 52-week high of
$30.95; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), up 0.26%;
iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), up 0.23%; and
iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), up
Semiconductor ETFs are edging lower: SPDR S&P Semiconductor
(XSD) down 0.37%; and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX), down
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is down
Among tech gainers, Apple (AAPL) is up 2.1% after touching a new
52-week high of $680.87 as investors react to a court ruling that
found Samsung Electronics infringed six Apple patents. The court
awarded Apple about $1 bln in damages.
Rival Nokia (NOK) is now up 8%, trimming its earlier gains of
more than 11%, following a Bloomberg article that discusses how the
two companies could benefit from the AAPL/Samsung patent ruling.
Samsung's smartphones could face a possible ban, and handset makers
and buyers could turn to Nokia smartphones running on Microsoft's
(MSFT) Windows 8 as alternatives to smartphones running on Google's
(GOOG) android software. MSFT shares are up 0.62% while GOOG shares
are down 1.3%.