Active broad-market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:
SPDR S&P 500 (
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures (
Financial Select Sector SPDR (
iShares Russell 2000 Index (
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and
others, continue to be firmer. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ
(QQQ) is up 0.49%.
U.S. stocks continue to trade in positive territory, recovering
from yesterday's big sell-off despite Moody's downgrade of 15 major
banks. Most bank stocks continue to post gains as the downgrades,
which did not come as a surprise, were not as bad as some were
dreading. That, added to news the European Central Bank will make
additional moves to further ease loan collateral for banks, has set
it up such that market sentiment looks to close the week on a
Winners and Losers
Among tech actives: Apple (AAPL) is flat; Microsoft (MSFT) is up
around 0.6%; Intel (INTC) 0.5%; Google (GOOG) 0.6%; Cisco (CSCO)
0.6%; Yahoo (YHOO) 0.2%.
The health of Google's (GOOG) chief executive officer and
co-founder Larry Page has been the subject of speculation among
analysts following his absence from the company's shareholders'
meeting Thursday, according to reports. GOOG's chairman, Eric
Schmidt, explained that Page was not in the meeting because he had
a voice condition, but also said that Page would miss the Google
I/O developer conference next week and the company's Q2 earnings
call in July, according to a report by BGR news. His absence,
though, is drawing far more negative speculation from analysts.
Doug Anmuth of JP Morgan, as reported by Business Insider, is
wondering if there is anything more to Page's condition, and says
it might raise some questions among investors. Anmuth also noted
that Page has not posted on Google+, the company's social
networking platform, since May 25. Reports have also drawn
parallels with Apple's (AAPL) past handling of Steve Jobs' health
issues, when the company downplayed the then AAPL CEO's severe
weight loss. Google has yet to released any clarification on Page's
Facebook (FB) is up more than 3% after Nomura initiated shares
with a Buy rating and set a price target of $40.
Ebix (EBIX) is up 6.5% after it signed a contract with a US
mutual insurance company to provide its Ebix Advantage Web
Enterprise SaaS platform for all back end system needs such as
rating, underwriting, policy administration, accounting, general
ledger, billing and claims management.
In the ETF space, iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW) is
up around 0.5%; Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) 0.4%; and
iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM) 0.5%; iShares
S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV) is up
SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index
Fund (SOXX) are both up nearly 1%.
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is
Vanguard Industrials (VIS) is slightly down; iShares Trust Dow
Jones U.S. Industrial Sector Index Fund (IYJ) is up 0.1%; and
Select Sector SPDR-Industrial (XLI) is down 0.2%.
BHP Billiton Limited (BHP) is up 0.2%, reversing earlier gains,
after a report on Reuters said that the company may cut the first
stage of its $10 billion iron ore port expansion in half as the
company tries to lower its rising costs amid an uncertain market.
This was the prevailing view of analysts and investors, the report
stated. It also said that BHP was under pressure from shareholders
who preferred larger dividends and buybacks to expensive projects
with no short-term returns. BHP has slowed down its Outer Harbour
project in Western Australia, one of three mega projects in its $80
billion pipeline, and further cuts would result to 50 million tons
a year from 100 million tons a year, the report added.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is up 0.4%; Energy Select
Sector SPDR (XLE) 0.3%.
L & L Energy, Inc. (LLEN) is up 4% after announcing that it
has signed MOU to acquire a 50% controlling interest of the LuoZhou
Mine in HeZhang County, Guizhou Province. The acquisition of
LuoZhou will mark the company's third transaction with Union
Energy, a local partner. The company said LuoZhou is currently in
trial production and will reach its approved rate of 150,000 tons
per annum by fall of 2012 (on reserves of 27 million tons), with
targeted expansion to 450,000 tons.
Cabot Oil & Gas (COG) is up more than 3% following its
announcement that it signed a definitive agreement with a
wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. for the sale of
a 35% non-operated working interest in the Pearsall Shale for $250
million. Under the agreement Osaka will pay $125 million in cash to
Cabot at closing and will pay an additional $125 million to carry
85% of Cabot's share of future drilling costs in the Pearsall
Crude is up 1.48% but is still below $80 a barrel. United States
Oil Fund (USO) is up nearly 2%.
Gold is up $0.10 but is still below $1,600 an ounce. SPDR Gold
Trust (GLD) has recovered losses and is now slightly higher. Silver
is down 0.43%. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 0.5% near year
Health Care SPDR (XLV) is up 0.6% to near year highs; iShares
NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) is up more than 1% and nearer year
highs; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) is up 0.6%; and iShares Dow
Jones US Healthcare (IYH) is up 0.8%.
Theratechnologies (THER) shares are down nearly 60% at year lows
after the company reported that it is seeing several stumbling
blocks in the regulatory approval of its drug tesamorelin in the
European Union, Canada and Brazil. In the EU, the company's
commercial partner Ferrer Internacional S.A., withdrew the MAA it
filed with the EMA for tesamorelin for the treatment of excess
abdominal fat in HIV-infected patients with lipodystrophy after
CHMP raised potential safety concerns for long-term use of
tesamorelin due to the lack of data on cardiovascular risk markers.
In Canada, THER received a notice of non-compliance from Health
Canada regarding its NDS for tesamorelin for the treatment of
excess abdominal fat in HIV-infected patients with lipodystrophy.
The agency had questions regarding the long-term safety of
tesamorelin, the appropriate patient population and the proposed
indication. And in Brazil, the National Health Surveillance Agency
identified technical deficiencies with the third-party
manufacturing site for tesamorelin. The manufacturer will implement
the agency's recommendations but this may delay regulatory decision
in that country.
Coronado Biosciences (CNDO) has turned positive and is now up
0.9% after it priced an offering of 5,000,000 shares of its common
stock at a price to the public of $5.00 per share for gross
proceeds to Coronado of $25.0 million.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is up 0.5%. Late yesterday, its
Janssen Research & Development company received a complete
response letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
regarding a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for XARELTO
(rivaroxaban) for the reduction of the risk of secondary
cardiovascular events in patients with acute coronary syndrome
(ACS), in which the FDA didn't approve the drug's expanded use.
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) is up 0.4%; iShares
Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) is up 0.2%; and Vanguard Consumer
Staples ETF (VDC) is up 0.4%.
SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) is up 0.3%; PowerShares Dynamic Retail
(PMR) is also up 0.3%; and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) is up
Darden Restaurants (DRI) is down more than 1%, but about $1
above day lows, after reporting Q4 earnings of $1.15 per share, in
line with the Capital IQ consensus estimate of $1.15. Revenues were
$2.07 bln, versus the analyst estimate of $2.11 bln. In the same
period last year, the company reported EPS of $1.00 on revenues of
Power Play -
ETFs and stocks continue to firm up in mid-day action, although
pre-market gainers among banks have trimmed their gains somewhat.
Nevertheless, the sector seems to have shaken off yesterday's
losses following Moody's credit rating downgrade of 15 of the
world's biggest financial institutions, citing risk exposure and
the eurozone crisis.
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (
) is up 0.4%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is up
more than 1%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is down more than
Among actives: Bank of America (BAC) is up 0.1% but off day
highs, Goldman Sachs (GS) is down 0.6% near day lows, Morgan
Stanley (MS) is up 0.7% but off day highs, Citigroup (C) is up 0.2%
but off day highs.
Morgan Stanley (MS) had its rating cut by two notches, less than
the three notches expected. Other banks downgraded by two notches
include: Barclays (BCS), up 0.5%; Royal Bank of Canada (RY), up
more than 1%; Citigroup; Goldman Sachs); JPMorgan (JPM), up around
1.5%; and Deutsche Bank (DB), up 1%.
Cut by one notch were HSBC (HBC), which is up 1.4%; Bank of
America; and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), up 1.2%.
Credit Suisse (CS) was the only bank to suffer a three notch
downgrade, and shares in the bank are currently up 0.65%.