Active broad-market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:
SPDR S&P 500 (
): -0.15% from near year highs.
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM (
): +0.2%, still near year lows.
iShares Russell 2000 Index (
PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 (
): -0.01%, near its year highs
Financial Select Sector SPDR (
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and
others, are mies. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (
) is down 0.01%, but is near its 52-week high of $68.55.
U.S. stocks are down, not helped by the Chicago Fed's report
that the National Activity Index registered a minus 0.13 for July,
pushing the index's 3-month moving average to minus 0.21 from minus
0.20. This adds to the general disappointment gripping market
sentiment after the European Central Bank called a report about a
plan to cap EU bond yields on German magazine Der Spiegel
misleading. The ECB said no decisions had been made, denying the
German weekly's report that the central bank was mulling setting
yield thresholds for purchases of bonds.
Winners and Losers
ETFs in the financial sector are edging higher after slipping
into the negative territory earlier: Financial ETF Select Financial
Sector SPDRs (
) is up 0.03%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is
down 0.01%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is flat. SPDR KBW
Regional Banking (KRE), which tracks U.S.-listed regional banks, is
In financial M&A news, Western Liberty Bancorp (WLBC) added
a third to its value and hit new year highs after it announced that
it will be acquired by Western Alliance Bancorporation (WAL).
Immediately following the completion of the acquisition, WLBC's
principal operating subsidiary, Service1st Bank of Nevada, will
merge with and into Bank of Nevada, a wholly-owned subsidiary of
WAL. The agreement provides that each shareholder of WLBC may elect
to receive either $4.02 in cash or 0.4341 of a share of WAL for
each WLBC share owned. In aggregate, the transaction is valued at
around $55 mln. WAL shares are flat, shy of a year high $9.92.
ETFs in the tech space are weaker: Technology Select Sector SPDR
ETF (XLK), has turned positive and is now up 0.08%; iShares S&P
North American Technology ETF (IGM), down 0.45%; and iShares
S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), down 0.97%.
iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW) is flat.
Semocinductor ETFs continue to slip lower: SPDR S&P
Semiconductor (XSD) is down 0.6%; Semiconductor Sector Index Fund
(SOXX), is down 0.8%. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector
ETF (IPK) is down 0.76%.
Among tech actives, Google (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL) both reached
new 52-week highs. GOOG shares are now slightly down after reaching
a new year high of $678.87. Apple is up 2% and has touched a new
year high of $664.75. Earlier, a report on Bloomberg Businessweek
stated that Google filed a lawsuit against Apple alleging that
several features on AAPL devices infringe the patents owned by
GOOG's Motorola Mobility unit. The complaint includes infringement
of patents involving location reminders, e-mail notification and
phone/video players, as well as voice recognition technology, which
is used by AAPL's Siri voice-recognition program, the report
stated. Motorola Mobility wants the U.S. import of AAPL devices,
including the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers, to be banned, the
report said further.
ETFs in the space edge lower in mid-day trading: Vanguard
Industrials (VIS), down 0.49%; iShares Trust Dow Jones U.S.
Industrial Sector Index Fund (IYJ), down 0.5%; and Select Sector
SPDR-Industrial (XLI), down 0.35%.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is down 0.3% while Energy
Select Sector SPDR (XLE) is down 0.3%.
Among stocks, Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) and Chevron Australia
Pty Ltd (CVX) announced that they have signed a binding agreement
for the exchange of Chevron's 16.7% interest in the East Browse
titles and Chevron's 20% interest in the West Browse titles with
Shell's 33.3% interest in the Clio-Acme titles. In addition to the
assets exchanged, Shell will pay Chevron an additional $450
million. Following completion of this transaction, Shell will hold
a 35% interest in the West Browse titles and 25% interest in the
East Browse titles.
Royal Dutch Shell ADRs have turned positive and are now up 0.07%
while CVX shares are down 0.19%.
Crude was down 0.14% while natural gas was up 0.41%. United
States Oil Fund (USO) is down 0.6%; United States Natural Gas Fund
(UNG) has turned positive and is now up 1%.
Gold was up 0.2%; silver was up around 2% . Among rare metal
funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) has turned positive and from being
down 0.08% is now up 0.3%; and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) has
turned from being down 0.04% to up 2%.
Among stocks, Silvercorp Metals (SVM) is up 5.25% after the
company reported an intercept of 4.55 meters grading 2,196
grams/metric ton silver, 13.63% lead and 1.38% zinc at its LM Mine
in China. Silvercorp said the drilling program has substantially
extended the downdip and striking extensions of previously defined
mineralization zones within some major vein structures.
ETFs in the space are weaker: Consumer Staples Select Sector
SPDR (XLP), down 0.14% but still near year highs; iShares Dow Jones
US Consumer Goods (IYK), down 0.47%, but still near year highs; and
Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), down 0.1% from near year
SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) is down 0.9%; PowerShares Dynamic
Retail (PMR), down 0.75% and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), down
0.7% having earlier touched a new year high.
Among stocks, Lowe's Companies (LOW) is down 6% after the
company reported weaker-than-expected quarterly results and cut its
profit outlook for the fiscal year. Net earnings were $0.64 a
share, trailing the Thomson Reuters consensus by $0.06. Sales fell
2% to $14.25 billion, while analysts had expected $14.46 billion.
Looking forward, the home improvement retailer expects sales to be
about flat. EPS are seen at about $1.64 per share.
Power Play -
Healthcare ETFs are mixed as the sector outperforms the S&P
500 at mid-day: Health Care SPDR (XLV), up 0.13% to near year
highs; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), down 0.06%; iShares Dow
Jones US Healthcare (IYH), up 0.1% to near year highs; and iShares
NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB), down 0.4%.
Among healthcare stocks, top gainer Coventry Health Care (CVH)
continues to tick higher, now up 19% after hitting a new 52-week
high of 41.75. Earlier, the company said it will be acquired by
Aetna (AET) in a transaction valued at $7.3 billion, including the
assumption of Coventry debt. Under the terms of the agreement,
which has been approved by the board of directors of each company,
Coventry stockholders will receive $27.30 in cash and 0.3885 Aetna
common shares for each Coventry share. AET shares are up 4.5%.