Active broad market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:
SPDR S&P 500 (
): +0.18%, near its 52-week high
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM (
Financial Select Sector SPDR (
): +0.33%, also near its 52-week high
iShares MSCI Japan Index (
): +3.87%, with a new 52-week high of $10.91
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and
others, continued to log modest gains. Actively traded PowerShares
QQQ (QQQ) was down 0.20%.
U.S. stocks remained in negative territory after downbeat jobs
data overshadowed more positive news from Japan and Europe. The
Labor Department reported that new claims for unemployment benefits
rose 28,000 to a four-month high of 385,000. Forecasts had pegged
claims to decline from 357,000 in the prior week. Continuing
claims, on the other hand, dropped by 8,000 to a seasonally
adjusted 3.06 million in the week.
Earlier, investors lauded news that the Bank of Japan launched a
more aggressive and open-ended bond purchase program, while the
European Central Bank announced that it will leave its key lending
rate unchanged at 0.75%. However, ECB President Mario Draghi's
comments that the euro-zone's second half growth could be less than
expected, also weighed on market sentiment.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (
) was up 0.33%, near its 52-week high. Direxion Daily Financial
Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 1.03%, with a new 52-week high of
$54.05. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 1.21%, touching a
new 52-week low of $42.61.
Among financial stocks, Deutsche Bank (DB) turned negative, down
0.59% after logging modest gains following a Reuters report saying
the bank is under investigation by Germany's Bundesbank and
financial watchdog Bafin over allegations that it failed to
correctly value a derivatives portfolio.
were mixed at mid-day: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK),
down 0.22%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), down 0.47%;
iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), down 0.38%;
and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV),
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was
up 0.36%; likewise, Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was down
0.52%, with a new 52-week low of $26.98.
In sector news, pSivida Corp. (PSDV) was down 1.33%, reversing
earlier gains of nearly 11%. It earlier announced that it signed a
funded technology evaluation agreement with a global pharmaceutical
company. The agreement will evaluate pSivida's proprietary Durasert
and Tethadur technologies for this pharmaceutical company's select
products in ophthalmology.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR
(XLE) were each down 0.30%.
In sector news, Midstates Petroleum Company, Inc. (MPO) tumbled
7.72% after announcing that it signed a purchase and sale agreement
to acquire producing properties as well as developed and
undeveloped acreage in the Anadarko Basin in Texas and Oklahoma for
$620 million in cash. The reserve life of the assets being acquired
is about 12.5 years.
Crude was down 1.89%; natural gas was up 0.56%. United States
(USO) was down 1.81%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was
Gold was down 0.26% and nearing its 52-week low of $1,539.
Silver was also lower, down 0.04%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR
Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.62%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was
Consumer ETFs were higher, nearing their 52-week highs: Consumer
Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.35%; iShares Dow Jones US
Consumer Goods (IYK), up 0.58%; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF
(VDC), up 0.34%.
In sector news, International Speedway (ISCA) edged higher, up
0.52% at last check and touched a new 52-week high of $33.53, after
the company reported Q1 earnings of $0.33 per share, ex one-time
items, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.36. Revenues were
$128.6 million, versus the analyst estimate of $127.7 million. The
company reaffirms FY13 guidance of $1.35 - $1.55 EPS on revenues of
$610 million - $625 million. The Street view is EPS of $1.46 on
revenues of $620.42 million.
Power Play -
Healthcare ETFs were mostly higher: Health Care SPDR (XLV), up
0.17%, with a new 52-week high of $46.92; Vanguard Health Care ETF
(VHT), flat, nearing its 52-week high; and iShares Dow Jones US
Healthcare (IYH), up 0.06%, also nearing its 52-week high. Biotech
ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB), on the other hand,
was lower, down 0.31%.
In corporate news, CombiMatrix (CBMX) trimmed earlier gains of
around 27%, and was up 14.45% at last check, after the company
reported preliminary quarterly growth in prenatal testing volumes
of 124% for the first quarter. CombiMatrix, a molecular diagnostics
company performing DNA-based testing services for developmental
disorders and cancer diagnostics, announced that it expects to
report record volumes of prenatal testing in Q1.
The company said its rapid growth in prenatal testing was the
result of its strategic shift in mid-2012 to focus resources
primarily on the prenatal molecular diagnostic testing markets
where it sees chromosomal micro-array analysis becoming the
standard of care.
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