Active broad-market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:
SPDR S&P 500 (
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM (
): -1.13%, near year lows
Financial Select Sector SPDR (
): +0.19%, near year highs
iShares Russell 2000 Index (
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and
others, are mixed. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) is up
0.21% and has hit new year highs. Homebuilder ETFs are logging
gains while oil-related ETFs are slipping into negative
U.S. stocks are gaining steam, lifted by the report that in
August, existing home sales rose 7.8%, better than economists'
forecasts. An earlier report also saw an increase in construction
on new U.S. homes, but this was below expectations. Also lending
support is the stimulus step taken by the Bank of Japan, which
increased the size of its asset purchases. Keeping the modest rally
in check is weakness in the energy sector, with ETFs and stocks
joining oil prices down following the weekly oil inventory
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (
) is up 0.16%, near year highs. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X
shares (FAS) is up 0.72%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is down
Among financial actives, Vivint and Blackstone (BX) today
announced a definitive agreement under which a fund managed by
Blackstone on behalf of its private equity investors will acquire
Vivint from its existing shareholders, including Goldman Sachs,
Peterson Partners, Jupiter Partners and other minority shareholders
for in excess of $2 billion. BX shares have turned negative.
Energy ETFs are weaker following the oil inventories report,
which showed a sharp inventories increase for last week. Dow Jones
U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is off 0.74%; Energy Select Sector SPDR
(XLE) is down 0.92%.
In sector news, PDC Energy, Inc. (PDCE) is down 6.5% after it
said it will develop its Utica Shale position in southeast Ohio
independently and is no longer seeking a joint venture partner.
Crude oil futures are weaker following the Energy Information
Administration's report that oil supplies increased more than
expected. Crude was down 2.64%, while United States Oil Fund (USO)
is down 4.4%. Natural gas, bucked the downward trend, and was up
0.47%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) is up 0.26%.
Gold was up 0.07% while silver was down 0.33%. Among rare metal
funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.08% while iShares Silver
Trust (SLV) is down 0.59%.
Healthcare ETFs are in positive territory: Health Care SPDR
(XLV), up 0.35%, hitting a new year high; Vanguard Health Care ETF
(VHT), up 0.325%, also with a new year high; iShares Dow Jones US
Healthcare (IYH) is up 0.33%, striking a new 52-week high. But
Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) has turned
negative after landing a new year high.
In corporate news, Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (QCOR) is down
39.7%, but is way above a new year low of $22.26 hit earlier,
following a report by Citron Research noting that Aetna (AET) is
dropping coverage of Acthar. AET disclosed that after studies, it
found no proof of efficacy to substantiate reimbursement for Achtar
when treating multiple sclerosis and nephrotic syndrome. AET shares
are down 0.4%.
Consumer ETFs are firmer, reaching new 52-week highs: Consumer
Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.39%, with a new 52-week
high; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), up 0.56%, also
with a new year high; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up
0.46%, also with a new year high.
Retail ETFs are higher: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), up 1%, closer
to year highs; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), up 0.678%; and
Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), up 0.74%, with a new year
Tech ETFs are higher: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK),
up 0.06% at year high levels; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF
(IYW), now up 0.06% and closer to year highs; iShares S&P North
American Technology ETF (IGM), up 0.18%; and iShares S&P North
American Technology-Software Index (IGV), up 0.15%.
Among Semiconductor ETFs, Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX)
is down 0.57%, and SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is down
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is
Power Play -
Homebuilder ETFs are firming up in mid-day action, bolstered by
a better-than-expected increase in August Existing Home Sales to
4.82 mln: SPDR S&P Homebuilders (XHB), up 2%; iShares Dow Jones
US Home Construction Index Fund (ITB), up 2.8%, near year highs;
and PowerShares Dynamic Building & Construction Portfolio
(PKB), up 1.82%, also nearing year highs.
Homebuilder stocks also ticking higher, with most reaching new
year highs or are near year highs: The Ryland Group (RYL), up
5.62%; PulteGroup (PHM), up 5.73%; Beazer Homes USA (BZH), up
6.23%; D.R. Horton (DHI), up 4.26%; and M.D.C. Holdings (MDC), up