Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs Still Firmer, Stocks Pare Gains Following Lackluster December Business Inventories Data

By MidnightTrader.com Staff,

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

SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust ( SPY ): +0.13, with a new 52-week high of $152.61

Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): +0.03%, with a new 52-week high of $17.87

iPath S&P 500 VIX ST Futures ETN ( VXX ): +0.58%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +0.58%.

PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1( QQQ ): +0.30%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, are firmer. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) is up 0.30%.

U.S. stocks are trimming earlier gains following December business inventories data, which showed an increase of 0.1%, below growth expectations. Earlier, market sentiment was boosted by upbeat retail sales data, with January retail sales grew 0.1%, in-line with the analysts' consensus on Briefing.com. Excluding autos, retail sales increased 0.2%, just above forecasts. Import and export price index data were also upbeat, with export prices in January, excluding agriculture, rising by 0.5%; excluding oil, import prices increased by 0.2%.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) is down 0.18% but with a new 52-week high of $17.87%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is down 0.17%, also with a new 52-week high. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is down 0.17%, with a new 52-week low of $11.54.

Among financial stocks, ING (ING) is down 3.45% after posting a Q4 net profit of EUR 1.43 billion. According to Dow Jones Newswires, analysts were expecting EUR 1.52 billion. The Dutch bank says it will cut 1,400 jobs by the end of 2015, and aims to cut costs by EUR 120 million per year.

Technology -

Tech ETFs are lower, underperforming the broader market at mid-day: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), down 0.10%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), down 0.22% iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), down 0.10%; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV) , down 0.79.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is down 0.62% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) is also down 0.03%.

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

In sector news, Trulia (TRLA) is up 24.25% and hit a new 52-week high of $29.89. It reported late Tuesday Q4 revenue of $20.6 mln and a pro forma loss of $0.03, compared to a loss of $0.25 for the comparable period last year. The Capital IQ analyst consensus estimate was for an EPS loss of $0.02 on revenue of $19.04 mln. Q1 revenue is expected to be in the range of $20.8 - $21.2 million, above the current $19.25 mln Street view.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is up 0.13%, nearing its 52-week high. Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) is up 0.19%, hitting a new 52-week high of $78.75.

In sector news, Talisman Energy (TLM) is now up 2.56% after it posted a Q4 loss per share of $0.10. The Street was looking for earnings of $0.05 per share, although it's not clear if this is comparable. Last year, the company posted earnings of $0.11 per share. Revenue for the quarter came in at $1.61 billion, missing the $1.76 billion consensus.

Commodities -

Petroleum inventory data showed that U.S. commercial crude oil inventories increased by 0.6 mln barrels from the previous week. U.S. crude oil inventories, which are at 372.2 mln barrels, are well above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

Crude was down 0.03%; natural gas was up 2.60%. United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 0.11%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) is up 2.03%.

Gold was down 0.25%; likewise, silver was down 0.83%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.43%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 0.76%.

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs are weaker: Health Care SPDR (XLV), down 0.23%, nearing its 52-week high; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), down 0.17%; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), down 0.18, also nearing its 52-week high. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB),on the other hand, is up 0.20%.

In corporate news, Pharmacyclics (PCYC) is up now up 7.55% and touched a new 52-week high of $76 after its investigational oral agent ibrutinib monotherapy for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma and for the treatment of patients with Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia, has been granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) and Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia (WM) are both B-cell malignancies. Pharmacylics, together with Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) Janssen unit is working with the FDA to determine the implications of this Breakthrough Therapy Designation to the ongoing and planned development and the filing requirements for the use of ibrutinib in patients with MCL and WM. The company expects to finalize the MCL filing before the year ends and will provide guidance on the WM filing after further discussions with the FDA. JNJ is currently unchanged.

Consumer -

Consumer ETFs are in the positive territory at mid-day: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.05%; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), up 0.04%, with a new 52-week high of $80.95; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), down 0.03% but near its 52-week high.

In sector news, Dean Foods (DF) is down 8.16% after it reported Q4 adjusted earnings of $0.40 per share, ex one-time items, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.29. Revenues were $3.42 bln, versus the analyst estimate of $3.37 bln. The company expects Q1 EPS of $0.22 - $0.27, ex special items, versus the Street view of $0.30. DF also anticipates FY13 EPS of $1 - $1.10, ex non-recurring items, versus the consensus of $1.25.

Power Play -

ETFs with exposure to Comcast (CMCSA) and General Electric Company (GE) continue to see active trading following news released late Tuesday that the two companies have reached an agreement under which Comcast will acquire GE's entire 49% common equity stake in the NBCUniversal joint venture for approximately $16.7 billion. Also, NBCUniversal will purchase from GE the properties used by NBCUniversal at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and CNBC's headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, NJ for approximately $1.4 billion.

CMCSA and GE both reached new 52-week highs, with Comcast up 4.46% at $42 and GE up 3.08% at $23.44.

ETFs with exposure to CMCSA are firmer:: Consumer Discretionary SPDR (XLY), up 0.24%, with a new 52-week high of $51.18; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Index (IYC), up 0.14%, with a new 52-week high of $93.83; PowerShares Dynamic Media (PBS), up 0.39%, with a new 52-week high of $17.90; Vanguard Consumer Discretionary ETF (VCR), up 0.09%, also with a new 52-week high of $81.99; and iShares S&P Global Consumer Discretionary Sector Index (RXI), up 0.61%, with a new 52-week high of $65.93.

ETFs with exposure to GE, mostly from the industrial sector, are higher: Vanguard Industrials (VIS), up 0.47%, with a new 52-week high of $77.71; iShares Trust Dow Jones U.S. Industrial Sector Index Fund (IYJ), up 0.44%, with a new 52-week high of $79.83; and Select Sector SPDR-Industrial (XLI), up 0.44%, also with a new 52-week high of $41.11.

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 Stocks: EEM , QQQ , SPY , VXX , XLF

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