Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs Mostly Firmer; Stocks Waver on Mixed Earnings


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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.4%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +0.9%

Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): +1%, near year high

PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): +0.1%

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): +0.7%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, are mostly higher. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) is up 0.1%.

U.S. stocks continue to churn in mixed trading after wavering or staying flat throughout most of the pre-market session. The market briefly inched up following the release of upbeat housing data, with construction on new U.S. homes up 15% in September, exceeding Street forecasts and at the highest level in more than four years. Building permits also rose to a four year high, up 11.6%. Earnings from reporting companies were mixed, with financials mostly up on beating or meeting estimates, led by Bank of America (BAC) and Piper Jaffray (PJC), while tech stocks are edging lower after lackluster earnings reports from IBM (IBM) and Intel (INTC).

Winners and Losers

Technology -

Tech ETFs are lower: iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), down 0.7%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), down 0.5%; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), down 1.4%. Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) is down 0.5%.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is up 0.26% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) up 0.2%. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is flat.

In sector news, Intel (INTC) is down 3%, with a fresh new 52-week low of $21.26, despite beating Q3 estimates. Late yesterday, it reported Q3 revenue of $13.5 bln, better than the analyst consensus of $13.2 bln on Capital IQ. EPS was $0.58, vs. expectations of $0.52 per share. For Q4, the company expects revenue of $13.6 bln, plus or minus $500 mln. The Street view is $13.7 bln. The company said that two-thirds of gross margin declines in Q4 will be due to inventory reserves, as customers and suppliers are taking cautious inventory approach on market uncertainty as well as Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows 8 OS introduction. But it expects factory adjustments in Q4 to bring down inventory levels. Additionally, INTC believes the PC business in Q4 will grow half of the seasonal norm.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is up 1.1%; Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) is up 1%.

In sector news, Halliburton (HAL) has turned positive and is now up 0.6% after the oilfield services company reported Q3 ex-items EPS of $0.67, in-line with expectations. Revenue for the quarter came in at $7.11 billion, just shy of the $7.14 billion consensus.

Commodities -

Crude was down 0.3% while natural gas was up 1.62%. United States Oil Fund (USO) is flat. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) is up 1.1%.

Gold was up 0.38%; silver was up 0.78%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.2%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 0.8%.

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs are higher: Health Care SPDR (XLV), down 0.02% after hitting new year highs; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), up 0.01% and near year highs; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), up 0.1% to near year highs too. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB), is up 1.3%.

In corporate news, St. Jude Medical (STJ) is down 6% after it posted Q3 EPS of $0.83, topping estimates by two cents. Revenue for the quarter came in at $1.33 billion, just shy of the $1.34 billion consensus. The company says it sees full-year EPS of $3.42 - $3.44, in-line with the $3.43 consensus. For Q4, the company says it sees EPS of $0.86 - $0.88, below the Street view for $0.89. The company also announced plans to buy back up to $300 million in stock.

Consumer -

Consumer ETFs are higher: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.5% to near year highs; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), up 0.84% to near 52-week highs; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up 0.52% and also near its year highs.

Retail ETFs are firmer: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), up 0.7%; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), up 0.6%; and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), up 0.5% and has hit new year highs.

In earnings news, UniFirst (UNF) is up 3.5% and touched a new year high of $70. The company reported Q4 earnings of $1.13 per share, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $1.01. Revenues were $312.4 mln, versus the analyst estimate of $312.2 mln. For FY13, the company expects EPS of $4.65 - $4.85 on revenues of $1.325 bln - $1.338 bln. The Street is at $4.80 in EPS on $1.33 bln in revenues.

Power Play -

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) is up 1% and near year highs. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is up 2.2%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is down 2.3% and nearer year lows.

Among financial actives, Piper Jaffray (PJC) is up 8% and hit a fresh new high of $29.44, after the firm earlier reported Q3 earnings of $0.72 per share, on revenues from continuing operations of $133 mln. In the prior year period, PJC posted EPS of $0.22 on revenues of $95.9 mln. Analysts polled by Capital IQ were expecting EPS of $0.29, but it is unclear if this is comparable to the firm's results. Revenues were expected to be $106.40 mln.

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

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

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities
Referenced Symbols: EEM , IWM , QQQ , SPY , XLF

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