Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Continue Rise as Upbeat Jobs, Wholesale Inventories Data Brighten Market Sentiment

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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.19%, with a new 52-week high of $155.60

Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): -0.08%, with a new 52-week high of $18.31

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM ( VXX ): -0.87%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +0.42%

iShares MSCI Japan Index ( EWJ ): +0.24%, near its 52-week high

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, extended their gains into mid-day, hitting new 52-week highs. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was down 0.06%.

U.S. stocks continued to rally as the upbeat jobs data released Friday indicated a positive picture of the U.S. economy. February nonfarm payrolls were 236,000, while nonfarm private payrolls were 264,000 - both surpassing economists expectations. Unemployment rate came in at 7.7% -- the lowest level since December 2008. This was better than analysts' forecast of an unchanged rate of 7.9%, according to Briefing.com. The Commerce Department also released upbeat economic data, saying wholesale inventories for January rose 1.2%, more than the expected 0.2% increase. This was also its widest growth since December 2011.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) eased 0.08% but touched a new 52-week high of $18.31. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 0.29%, but with a new 52-week high of $164.02. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 0.18%, with a new 52-week low of $10.63.

Among financial stocks, Barclays (BCS) reversed slight losses and was up 0.9% at mid-day. A Financial Times report said that the company's CEO Antony Jenkins has told investors that cost reduction is his absolute priority and he wants to find a way for the bank to operate with as few as 100,000 staff - a near 30% reduction on its current headcount.

Industrial -

Industrial ETFs logged gains in mid-day action, hitting new 52-week highs: Vanguard Industrials (VIS), up 0.64%, with a new 52-week high of $79.28; iShares Trust Dow Jones U.S. Industrial Sector Index Fund (IYJ), up 0.59%, with a new 52-week high of $81.39; and Select Sector SPDR-Industrial (XLI), up 0.60%, with a new 52-week high of $41.79.

Among stocks, KMG Chemicals (KMG) slipped 3% after the company reported Q2 earnings of $0.14 per share, ex one-time items, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.16. Revenues were $56.83 mln, versus the analyst estimate of $55.99 mln. The company expects Q3 EPS of $0.33 versus the Street view is EPS of $0.35.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) edged higher, up 0.07% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was also firmer, up 0.14%.

In sector news, BPZ Resources (BPZ) was up 5.7% after it reported Q4 GAAP EPS of $0.12, versus the Capital IQ GAAP consensus of $0.12 loss per share. Revenues were $25.1 mln, versus the analyst estimate of $24.77 mln. Total production from the company's offshore Corvina and Albacora fields in Block Z-1 was 139,000 barrels of oil, or 1,516 barrels of oil per day (bopd). This compares with 155,000 barrels of oil or 1,683 bopd for the same period in 2011.

Commodities -

Crude was down 0.45%; natural gas was up 0.96%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.30%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 1.01%.

Gold was up 0.06% and silver was up 0.75%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.02%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.66%.

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs continued to tick hgiher at mid-day: Health Care SPDR (XLV), was up 0.13%, with a new 52-week high of $44.67; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), up 0.23%, with a new 52-week high of $80.32; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), up 0.14%, near its 52-week high. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) also jumped to a new 52-week high of 155.39, edging up 0.45%.

In corporate news, AngioDynamics (ANGO) tumbled 11.8%, adding to losses of 4% in Thursday's after-hours session, when the company reported preliminary Q3 earnings between $0.04 - $0.06 per share, below analyst consensus of $0.09 per share. ANGO expects to report revenues of $81 million, lower than estimates of $87 million and below prior year revenues of $83 million.

Consumer -

Consumer ETFs were in positive territory: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.10%, near its 52-week high; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), off 0.01%, but with a new 52-week high of $83.32; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up 0.10%, with a new 52-week high of $97.60.

Likewise, Retail ETFs were higher: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), up 0.7%, with a new 52-week high of $69.37; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), up 0.34%, near its 52-week high; and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) up 0.5%, with a new 52-week high of $47.64.

In sector news, Ann (ANN) continued to log gains, up 8.6% after it reported Q4 earnings of $0.05 per share, ex one-time items, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.01. Revenues were $607.7 mln, versus the analyst estimate of $608.10 mln. Total company comparable sales for the quarter decreased 0.7%.

The company expects FY13 revenues of $2.565 bln, assuming a total company comparable sales growth in the mid-single digits. Analysts are looking for revenues of $2.37 bln. For Q1, the company anticipates sales to be $600 mln, reflecting a total company comparable sales increase in the low-single digits. The Street view is $590.98 mln in revenues.

Power Play -

Technology -

Tech ETFs were firmer at mid-day: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), up 0.23%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), up 0.08%; and iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), up 0.07%, with a new 52-week high of $72.89. iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), slipped lower, down 0.04%, but touched a new 52-week high of $70.21.

Among Semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 0.33% while Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down 0.25%.

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

In sector news, Pandora (P) shares were up 16.5%, trimming earlier gains of more than 25%, after it announced it will begin a process to replace company chairman, CEO and president Joseph Kennedy. Kennedy, who has led the company since July 2004, will continue in his current role until his successor is named.

Pandora also reported Q4 total revenue was $125.1 million, a 54% year-over-year increase and above the $122.8 million the Street expected. It reports a loss of $0.04 per share for Q4, less than the $0.05 loss analysts expected. Shares also hit a new 52-week high of $14.70.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: EEM , EWJ , SPY , VXX , XLF

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