Active broad market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:
SPDR S&P 500 (
): +0.12%, near its 52-week high
iShares MSCI Japan Index (
): -0.60%, but near its 52-week high
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM (
): -0.1%, near its 52-week low
Financial Select Sector SPDR (
): -0.1%, but near year highs
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and
others, were mixed, but mostly trading at the higher end of their
52-week ranges. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) is up
U.S. stocks have bounced back ater an early stutter with the Dow
Jones Industrial Average climbing to a new all-time high while the
S&P 500 traded just above its previous record closing high of
1565.15, established on October 9, 2007. Market sentiment
brightened after positive Q4 GDP data offset disappointing jobless
claims and Chicago PMI data. In Q4, the U.S. economy grew 0.4%, up
from the prior estimate of a 0.1% increase. Jobless claims, on the
other hand, rose 16,000 to 357,000 last week, the highest level
since mid-February, according to a report on MarketWatch. This was
a wider increase than the expectations of a rise to 339,000. The
Chicago PMI showed a reading of 52.4 for the month of March, also
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (
) was down 0.11%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was
down 0.31% but still near year highs. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ,
was up 0.1%, near its 52-week low.
Among financial stocks, Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (GBCI) was up
0.8%, nearing its 52-week high, after it signed a definitive
agreement to acquire North Cascades National Bank, a community bank
based in Chelan, Washington. The boards of Glacier and North
Cascades Bancshares, Inc. (North Cascades' holding company)
unanimously approved the transaction, which is subject to
regulatory approval and other customary conditions of closing. The
transaction provides for the payment to North Cascades Bancshares,
Inc. shareholders of $13.55 million in cash and 874,194 shares of
Glacier common stock, so long as the average price of Glacier stock
before closing the transaction is between $13 and $18.
turned positive: Vanguard Industrials (VIS), up 0.2% and near year
highs; iShares Trust Dow Jones U.S. Industrial Sector Index Fund
(IYJ), up 0.23%; and Select Sector SPDR-Industrial (XLI), up
Among stocks, EDAC Technologies (EDAC) was up 4.5%, reaching a
new 52-week high of $18.63, after it earlier said it has received a
proposal from MidOcean Partners, a private equity firm, to acquire
all of the outstanding shares of EDAC for $18.25 per share in cash.
The proposed transaction represents a $0.50 per share premium to
the price offered by GB Aero Engine LLC, an affiliate of the
Greenbriar Equity Group, in a transaction announced on March 18,
2013. It also represents a 23.2% premium to the average closing per
share price of EDAC over the 30 trading days ending March 15, 2013
which precede the announcement of the deal with Greenbriar.
Crude was up 0.03%; natural gas was down 0.88%. United States
Oil Fund (USO) is up 0.26% and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG)
is down 1.6%.
Gold was down 0.65% and silver was down 1.09%. Among rare metal
funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.7%; iShares Silver Trust
(SLV) was down 1.2%.
Healthcare ETFs are higher: Health Care SPDR (XLV), up 0.6%,
with a new 52-week high of $45.90; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT),
up 0.6%, with a new 52-week high of $82.71; and iShares Dow Jones
US Healthcare (IYH), up 0.66%, with a new 52-week high of $96.29.
Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 1.3%,
also touching a new 52-week high of $160.19.
In corporate news, Biogen Idec (BIIB) was up 4%, touching a new
52-week high of $190.82, after it confirmed that its TECFIDERA
(dimethyl fumarate) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) as a new first-line oral treatment for people
with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). The company said
it will make the oral capsule available to people living with MS in
the United States in the coming days.
Consumer ETFs were firmer: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR
(XLP), up 0.20%,
with a new 52-week high of $39.74; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer
Goods (IYK), up 0.15% and nearer year highs; and Vanguard Consumer
Staples ETF (VDC), up 0.26%, with a new 52-week high of
Retail ETFs: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), now up and near year
highs; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), up 0.46%, with a 52-week
high of $27.96; and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), down 0.12% but
with a new 52-week high of $48.90.
In sector news, Finish Line Inc. (FINL) was up 6.5%, adding to
earlier gains of about 3%, after the mall-based specialty retailer
reported fourth quarter non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.76,
better than consensus estimate of $0.75. Net sales totaled $442.7
million versus consensus estimate of $452.3 million. In the same
period last year, non-GAAP earnings per share were $0.81, with
revenues of $456.3 million. For the fiscal year ending March 1,
2014, the company currently expects Finish Line comparable store
sales to be up slightly and earnings per share to increase
mid-single digit percent over fiscal year 2013 non-GAAP diluted
earnings per share of $1.47.
Power Play -
Tech ETFs: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), now flat;
iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), down 0.01%; iShares
S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), up 0.1%; and iShares
S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), up
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was
down 0.02% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was down
In sector news, Blackberry (BBRY) was higher after the company
reported Q4 revenue of $2.7 bln, down 36% from year ago levels and
below the analyst consensus of $2.8 bln on Capital IQ. Adjusted EPS
was $0.22, well ahead of expectations of a loss of $0.31 per share.
The company also said Mike Lazaridis, having fulfilled the
commitment he made to the board in January 2012, has decided to
retire as Vice Chair and a director of the company. Lazaridis
co-founded BlackBerry nearly 30 years ago and served as a co-CEO of
the company until last year when he was elected Vice Chair.
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