Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Continue Rally, Boosted by Upbeat Data, Easing of Fiscal-Cliff Fears


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Active broad-market exchange-traded funds:

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +1.7%

iShares MSCI Japan Index ( EWJ ): +1.49%

Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): +1.7%

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): +1.67%

PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): +2%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, are firmer. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) is up 2%.

U.S. stocks are extending their gains, finding more to cheer about following the release of upbeat economic data: the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of builder confidence climbed to 46 in November, while the National Association of Realtors reported sales of previously owned homes increased 2.1% in October. Earlier, market sentiment got a boost from weekend remarks by President Barack Obama, who said in a press conference in Thailand that he is confident that the U.S.'s fiscal cliff issue can be resolved.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) is up 1.7%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is up 4.69%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is down 4.69%.

Among financial stocks, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) is up 2.9%. The firm said today that it has eliminated more than a third of its intraday credit exposure related to the unwind of Tri-Party Repos. The firm also said it remains on track to deliver new capabilities for its clients during the second half of 2013, achieving the Target End State in keeping with the commitments the firm has made to its clients, the markets and the NY Federal Reserve Bank.

Technology -

Tech ETFs are firmer in mid-day action: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), up 2.35%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), up 2.23%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), up 1.78%; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), up 0.9%.

Semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD), up 2.9% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) is up 1.7%.

SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is up 3.5%.

In sector news, Reuters and others report that Alibaba Group is planning to take a stake in Sina's (SINA) Weibo. According to the reports, sources say the agreement is in the final stages, and values Sina Weibo at around $3 billion. Alibaba plans to take a 15 to 20% stake in the company. SINA is up 8%.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is up 1.9%; and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE), up 2%.

In sector news, Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM) is up 3.2% after it earlier confirmed a "significant" accumulation of light oil in the Kurdamir-2 well in the Kurdistan Region of northern Iraq. Talisman is operator of the Kurdamir Block, with a 40% working interest. Joint venture participants include WesternZagros Limited, with a 40% working interest, and the Kurdistan Regional Government, with a 20% carried interest.

Commodities -

Crude was up 2.77%; natural gas was down 0.59%. United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 2.9%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) is down 0.8%.

Gold and silver were firmer, up 1.10% and 2.30% respectively. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 1.2%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 2.8%.

Consumer -

Consumer ETFs are in positive territory: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 1.2%; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), up 1.8%; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up 1.2%.

Retail ETFs are also higher: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), up 2%; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), up 1.7%; and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), up 1.5%, with a new year high of $43.85.

In sector news, Tyson Foods (TSN) is up 7.4% after reporting Q4 adjusted EPS of $0.55, vs. the analyst consensus of $0.44 per share on Capital IQ. Sales were $8.37 bln, vs. expectations of $8.51 bln. It also said it expects FY13 sales to increase to about $35 bln, mostly resulting from price increases related to decreases in domestic availability of protein and rising raw material costs.

Power Play -

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs are firmer: Health Care SPDR (XLV), up 0.8%; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), up 0.9%; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), up 0.8%. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB), up 1%.

In corporate news, Wright Medical Group, Inc. (WMGI) has entered into a definitive agreement with BioMimetic Therapeutics, Inc. (BMTI) to combine their businesses. Under the terms of the agreement, the transaction has a total potential value for BioMimetic shareholders of approximately $380 million, or $12.97 per share, based on Wright's closing stock price on Friday, November 16, 2012. Each share of BioMimetic common stock will be converted into the right to receive an upfront payment of $1.50 in cash and 0.2482 shares of Wright common stock. WMGI is down 2.5%, while BMTI is up 72.5%, touching a new year high of $7.38.

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: EWJ , IWM , QQQ , SPY , XLF

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