Active broad-market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:
SPDR S&P 500 (
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM (
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (
iShares MSCI Japan Index (
): +0.2%, with a new 52-week high of $10.34
Financial Select Sector SPDR (
): +0.11%, near 52-week highs.
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and
others, retained losses in mid-day trading. Actively traded
PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was down -0.1%.
U.S. stocks slipped further into the red, tracking mainland
Chinese stocks, as China's Shanghai Composite Index suffered its
worse day since August 2011, while the Shenzhen Composite Index saw
its sharpest decline since July, according to MarketWatch.
Real Estate and construction stocks plunged after the Chinese
government said it will tighten regulatory measures to control the
sharp rise in real estate prices, preventing what could be a
real-estate bubble. Back home, U.S. federal spending cuts took
effect after a deadlock in Washington failed to avert the sequester
cuts. MarketWatch reported that following the cuts, analysts
trimmed their GDP forecasts.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (
) turned positive and was up 0.1%, near its 52-week high. Direxion
Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 0.7%. Its bearish
counterpart, FAZ, turned negative and was down 0.6%, near its
Among financial stocks, HSBC Holdings plc (HBC) was down about
2% after reporting a FY12 profit of $13.5 bln, down from $16.2 bln
a year earlier, missing analyst expectations. The bottom line was
affected by London-based HBC in December agreed to a record $1.92
bln fine to settle charges with U.S. authorities the bank breached
rules against money laundering, including allegations it handled
money transfers worth billions of dollars for countries under U.S.
Technology were mixed: Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) is flat;
iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), down 0.2%; iShares
S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), now down 0.03%; and
iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), up
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was
down 0.5% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was down
In sector news, Tech Data Corp. (TECD) slipped more than 7%
after posting fourth quarter earnings per share of $1.48, shy of
the $1.76 consensus estimate. Revenues for the quarter totaled $7.5
billion, better than analyst estimate of $7.2 billion. Year-ago
earnings per share was $1.75, with revenues of $7.1 billion.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was down 0.9% and Energy Select
Sector SPDR (XLE) was off 0.8%.
In sector news, GMX Resources (GMXR) tumbled 18%, but has
trimming earlier losses of some 38%, following the company's
receipt of a non-compliance notice from the NYSE for failure to
reach $50 million in market cap for 30 consecutive trading days.
GMXR has 45 days to submit a plan to the NYSE detailing how it
intends to comply with the NYSE's listing standards.
Crude was down 0.94%; natural gas was up 1.86%. United States
Oil Fund (USO) was down more than 1%. United States Natural Gas
Fund (UNG) was up 2%.
Gold was down 0.01% and silver was up 0.04%. Among rare metal
funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.2%; iShares Silver Trust
(SLV) was down 0.3%.
Among stocks, Hecla Mining Company (HL) slipped around 12% after
announcing that it signed a deal with Aurizon Mines Ltd. (AZK) in
which Hecla will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common
shares of Aurizon in a transaction with a total value of
approximately C$796 million. Hecla will acquire all of the
outstanding common shares of Aurizon for C$4.75 per share. Each
holder of Aurizon common shares may elect to receive either C$4.75
in cash or 0.9953 of a Hecla share. AZK shares were up about
Healthcare ETFs were in and around new 52-week highs: Health
Care SPDR (XLV), was up 0.05%, with a new 52-week high of $43.88;
Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), was up 0.17%, with a new 52-week
high of $78.80; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), was up
0.02%, with a new 52-week high of $91.66. Biotech ETF iShares
NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.4%, earlier jumped to a
new 52-week high of $150.13.
In corporate news, Prana Biotechnology (PRAN) was up nearly 13%
after it reported that its Alzheimer's Disease treatment, PBT2, has
shown the ability to reduce the damage to brain cells, caused by
the accumulation of the tau protein and preventing subsequent
cognitive impairment. The tau protein, is one of two major proteins
associated with Alzheimer's Disease. Pran's Phase II clinical trial
for PBT2, the IMAGINE trial, is now fully enrolled and will be
completed at the end of the year.
Consumer ETFs were inching higher at mid-day, nearing their
52-week highs: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.21%;
iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), up 0.05%; and Vanguard
Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up 0.24%.
In sector news, Standard Motor Products (SMP) was up 5%,
touching a new 52-week high of $26.86, after it reported Q4
earnings of $0.28 per share, ex one-time items, versus the Capital
IQ consensus of $0.21. Revenues were $192.4 mln, versus the analyst
estimate of $191.44 mln. The company said it will commence a new
share buyback program of $6 million for 2013. This is in addition
to its outstanding authorization carry forward of $864,000 from
2012. It has also raised its quarterly dividend from $0.09 to
$0.11, effective March 1.
Power Play -
Industrial ETFs continued to weaken: Vanguard Industrials (VIS),
down 0.39%; iShares Trust Dow Jones U.S. Industrial Sector Index
Fund (IYJ), down 0.42%; Select Sector SPDR-Industrial (XLI), down
0.75%; iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction (IB),
Among stocks, Ferro Corporation (FOE) was down more than 30%
after Schulman (SHLM) proposed to acquire all of the outstanding
shares of FOE's common stock for $6.50 per share, representing an
estimated total enterprise value of about $855 million including
total indebtedness. The offer represents a 25% premium over the
closing price of FOE common stock on March 1, 2013, and a 32%
premium over the volume-weighted average trading price over the
preceding 60-day period. SHLM shares were flat.