Active broad market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:
SPDR S&P 500 (
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (
iShares MSCI Japan Index (
): +0.68%, near its 52-week high
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM (
): -0.87%, with a 52-week low of $19.32
Financial Select Sector SPDR (
): +0.47%, near its 52-week high
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and
others, are mostly firmer. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ)
was up 0.40%.
U.S. stocks have turned positive at session's half, with the
S&P near its record closing high and the Dow Industrials
pushing past its record close. Market sentiment has brightened as
aluminum company Alcoa's (AA) better-than-expected profit for its
Q1 earnings report marked the start of earnings season, although
investors are wary of taking its results, whether upbeat or
downbeat, as indicators for how the whole earnings season will play
Investors are mostly shrugging off the February wholesale
inventories data, which came in lower than expected, down 0.3%
versus the consensus of 0.5%. Wholesale sales rose 1.7% for the
month after slipping 0.8% in the prior month.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (
) was up 0.47%, near its 52-week high. Direxion Daily Financial
Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 0.84%, with a new 52-week high of
55.46. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 0.95%, with a new
52-week low of $41.45.
Among financial stocks, FXCM Inc. (FXCM) was up 2.39% after it
said earlier that it proposed to merge with and acquire Gain
Capital Holdings LLC (GCAP). The proposed transaction would give
Gain shareholders 0.3996 shares of FXCM Class A common stock for
each share of Gain common stock. FXCM was also prepared to offer up
to $50 million in cash consideration in lieu of FXCM shares. FXCM
were mixed at mid-day trading: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF
(XLK), up 0.13%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), 0.21%;
iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), 0.32%; and
iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV),
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was
off 0.02% while Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was up
In sector news, Affymetrix (AFFX) shares tumbled 13.48% as the
company says it expects Q1 FY13 revenues of around $78 million,
including revenues of about $19 million from eBioscience - below
the company's expectations. The company attributed this to
continued headwinds in its gene expression business across all
regions, particularly in Japan, where it came in significantly
short of plan. Analysts polled by Capital IQ are expecting Q1
revenues of $83.34 million.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.88%. Energy Select
Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.93%.
In sector news, Synergy Resources (SYRG) was up 0.28%, near its
52-week high, after it reported Q2 earnings of $0.05 per share, ex
one-time items, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.06. Revenues
were $10.9 million, versus the analyst estimate of $11.53 million.
Net oil and natural gas production increased to 186,039 barrels of
oil equivalent (BOE), averaging 2,067 BOE per day versus 1,091 BOE
per day in the same year-ago quarter.
Crude was up 1.09%, near its session highs; natural gas was down
1.4%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.2178%. United States
Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 1.39%.
Gold was up 0.92%. Silver was also higher, up 2.88%. Among rare
metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.85%; iShares Silver
Trust (SLV) was up 2.81%.
Healthcare ETFs were higher, trading at the higher end of their
52-week ranges: Health Care SPDR (XLV), up 0.37%; Vanguard Health
Care ETF (VHT), up 0.23%; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare
(IYH), up 0.34%. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index
(IBB) was up 0.32%.
In corporate news, BSD Medical (BSDM) was down 28.48% after it
entered into a securities purchase agreement with two institutional
investors to sell 4,065,042 shares of its common stock in a
registered direct offering at $1.23 per share. In addition,
warrants to purchase 3,048,782 shares will be issued to the
investors. The warrants are exercisable beginning six months and
one day after closing, expire five years after becoming
exercisable, and have an exercise price of $1.65 per share. The
completion of the offering will occur on or before April 12.
Consumer ETFs were lower, but near their 52-week highs: Consumer
Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), down 0.17%; iShares Dow Jones US
Consumer Goods (IYK), down 0.32%; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF
(VDC), down 0.11%.
In sector news, Herbalife Ltd. (HLF) was down 1.12% after being
released from a trading halt earlier. The company confirmed earlier
reports that the independent accountant it has engaged, KPMG LLP,
has resigned effective immediately. KPMG also confirmed reports
that it resigned because its independence was compromised after one
of its former partners had been allegedly engaged in insider
trading in HLF's securities.
The former KPMG partner was engagement partner on HLF's audit.
HLF's Audit Committee and management continue to believe that the
company's financial statements covering or the fiscal years ended
December 31, 2010, 2011 and 2012, in all material respects, the
financial condition and results of operations of the company as of
the end of and for the referenced periods and may continue to be
Power Play -
Industrial ETFs were lower: Vanguard Industrials (VIS), down
0.03%; iShares Trust Dow Jones U.S. Industrial Sector Index Fund
(IYJ), down 0.16%; and Select Sector SPDR-Industrial (XLI), down
Among stocks, Alcoa (AA) was down 0.42% after reporting its
financial results in Monday's after hours. During its conference
call, the company's management issued guidance for 2Q by segment,
as follows: Engineered Products and Solution (EPS) ATOI is expected
to increase about 5% sequentially; Global Rolled Products (GRP)
ATOI is expected to increase 15%-20% sequentially, excluding LME
and currency; Alumina is expected to have production increases by
150 kmt, and Primary Metals will have a $25M negative impact owing
to power plant outages at Anglesea.
The company also said it has suffered as a result of pricing
pressures where supply has outstripped demand. While aluminum was
down 10%, this was not reflective of the underlying market
dynamics, according to management. The fundamentals tell a
different story with stable inventory, and regional premiums still
strong. Given the curtailment of supply in China, Alcoa reiterated
its expectation for 7% aluminum growth. Excluding China, this would
imply 4% growth globally.
Alcoa had reported late Monday Q1 EPS of $0.11, beating analyst
estimates of $0.08 EPS. Revenues came in at $5.8 billion, in line
with Street forecasts.