Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs Mostly Firmer, Stocks Remain Weak Following Mixed Consumer, Jobs Data

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Active broad market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:

SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust ( SPY ): -0.03%, but are nearing its 52-week high

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +0.15%

PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): +0.03%

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): +0.65%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM ( VXX ): -0.91%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, are mostly firmer. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) is up 0.03%.

U.S. stocks are still lower in mid-day action, even as MarketWatch reports that for this January, the market saw its best yearly start since 1989. Market sentiment continues to be weighed by mixed economic data, though it logged moderate but short-lived gains early in the regular session following the report that the January Chicago PMI was at 55.6.

Earlier, U.S. unemployment costs rose 0.5% in Q4, in line with forecasts, while weekly initial jobless claims rose above economists' forecasts. December personal income rose above expectations, while the increase in consumer spending fell in line with estimates. The personal consumption expenditure index remained unchanged. In earnings news, Facebook (FB), which reported Q4 results in Wednesday's evening trading, remains in focus.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) is down 0.14%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is down 0.34%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is up 0.32%.

Among financial stocks, Blackstone Group (BX) is now up 6.31%, but off a new 52-week high of $18.95. The private equity firm reported Q4 earnings of $0.59 per share, ex one-time items, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.47. Revenues were $1.22 bln, versus the analyst estimate of $1.1 bln.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is down 0.25% but near its 52-week high; Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) is down 0.15%.

In sector news, Cameron (CAM) is up 3.89% and touched a new 52-week high of $63.80. The company reported Q4 earnings of $0.95 per share, ex one-time items, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.96. Revenues were $2.43 bln, versus the analyst estimate of $2.38 bln. For Q1, the company sees EPS of about $0.70 - $0.75, versus the consensus of $0.84. The company also expects FY13 EPS of $3.70 - $3.95, versus the Street view of $4.05 EPS. The guidance for both periods exclude one-time items.

Commodities -

Natural gas was up 0.96%, off session lows. Natural gas slipped lower following the EIA report of a draw of 194 bcf, below the expectations for a draw of 205 bcf to 206 bcf. Crude was also lower, down 0.52%. Among ETFs , United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 0.70%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) is up 0.21%.

Gold was down 1.2% and silver was down 2.94%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.82%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 2.10%.

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs are weaker: Health Care SPDR (XLV), down 0.09%; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), down 0.08% but near its 52-week high; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), down 0.02%. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) is up 0.55%.

In corporate news, Celsion (CLSN) has plummeted 81.05% to a fresh new 52-week low of $1.41 after the company today announced that ThermoDox, in combination with radiofrequency ablation (RFA), did not meet the primary endpoint of the Phase III HEAT Study in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), also known as primary liver cancer.

Consumer -

Consumer ETFs are mostly lower: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.01%; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), down 0.05%; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), down 0.08%.

Retail ETFs, on the other hand, are higher: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), up 0.45%; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), up 0.11%; and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), up 0.02% with a new 52-week high of $46.50.

In sector news, Elizabeth Arden (RDEN) is down 15.46% to $38.78. It reported Q2 earnings of $1.58 per share, ex one-time items, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $1.64. Revenues were $467.92 mln, versus the analyst estimate of $492.58 mln.

RDEN sees Q3 EPS of $0.00 - $0.04 on revenues of $255 mln - $270 mln. The Street view is EPS of $0.18 on revenues of $276.10 mln.

The company expects FY13 net sales to increase by 9% to 11%, assuming an expected unfavorable impact from foreign currency of 0.5%, as compared to the prior year period. Adjusted EPS is expected to be $2.30 - $2.50, versus the consensus of $2.66.

Power Play -

Technology -

Tech ETFs and stocks continue to see active trading today on the back of Facebook's (FB) earnings report in Wednesday's after hours session. FB has trimmed earlier losses of more than 6%, and is now down 0.96%. The social media giant reported Q4 revenue of $1.58 bln, vs. the analyst consensus of $1.52 bln on Capital IQ. EPS was $0.17, vs. expectations of $0.15 per share. Mobile revenue represented approximately 23% of advertising revenue for the fourth quarter of 2012, up from approximately 14% of advertising revenue in the third quarter of 2012

Shares have been seeing downgrades from analyst firms despite the better-than-expected Q4 results, which were partly due to the increase in FB's mobile ad revenues as it focused more on mobile platforms, releasing a Facebook app for Google's (GOOG) Android OS in the quarter.

But analysts have cited the decline in the company's operating margin, from 33% to 48.5% year over year, due to higher costs, for the downgrades. On the other hand, optionMonster says that the company's advertising revenues increased but not as much as analysts' had projected. FB's mobile revenues were $306 mln, versus the forecast of $350 mln, optionMonster added.

Tech ETFs are higher: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), up 0.27%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), up 0.18%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), up 0.03%; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), up 0.54%.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is up 0.44% while Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) is down 0.21%.

SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is flat.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.


This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: EEM , IWM , QQQ , SPY , VXX

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