Active broad-market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:
SPDR S&P 500 (
PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 (
): +0.22%, near year highs.
Direxion Daily Small Cap Bear 3X Shares (
): +0.13%, but still near year lows.
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM (
): -2.8%, still near 52-week low
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and
others, are modestly higher. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (
) is up 0.22% and nearer to year highs.
U.S. stocks are inching higher, unable to gain much traction
despite the Labor Department's report that the productivity of U.S.
rebounded more than initially estimated in the second quarter.
Market sentiment continues to be clouded by worries of a global
growth slowdown - led by China - and investors anxiously await news
on stimulus measures from the European Central Bank on Thursday and
news on the U.S. jobs front on Friday for direction.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) is up 0.03%. Direxion Daily
Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is down 0.25% while its bearish
counterpart, FAZ, is up 0.1%.
Among financial stocks, Hartford (HIG) shares are up 2.6%, after
the company announced in yesterday's after hours that it signed a
definitive agreement to sell its Retirement Plans business to
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) for a cash
ceding commission of $400 million, subject to adjustment at
closing. The sale, which is structured as a reinsurance
transaction, is expected to close by the end of 2012, subject to
regulatory approvals and satisfying other customary closing
Nokia (NOK) is one of the top losers today, down 11% and falling
as much as 13% even as the company unveiled its latest flagship
smartphones that run on MIcrosoft's (MSFT) Windows 8 operating
system. The launch had been pegged as the make-it-or-break-it
moment for Nokia to regain its status as a leader in the mobile
Tech ETFs are mixed: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), up
0.13% to near year highs; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF
(IYW), up 0.28%; and iShares S&P North American
Technology-Software Index (IGV), up 0.14%. iShares S&P North
American Technology ETF (IGM) is up 0.3%.
Among Semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is up
0.11% while Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) is down 0.54%.
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is down
Power Play -
Healthcare ETFs are firmer: Health Care SPDR (XLV), now down
0.05% having earlier struck 52 months highs; Vanguard Health Care
ETF (VHT), now down 0.04% having earlier hit a new year high; and
iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), up 0.15% having also landed
new year highs. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index
(IBB) is down 0.5% having gone close to doing the same.
In corporate news, Orexigen Therapeutics (OREX) shares are up
8%, after the company earlier said it will close enrollment of new
patients into its study of cardiovascular risks associated with its
weight-loss treatment Contrave in Q4, sooner than expected. By
closing enrollment earlier, the time required to perform an interim
analysis of the data could be cut in half.
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