Active broad-market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:
SPDR S&P 500 (
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM (
): -1.9%, sinks to a new year low
PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 (
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and
others, continue to be weaker. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (
) is down 0.1%.
U.S. stocks are still logging losses into the session's second
half. With the earnings season winding down and no significant U.S.
economic data on tap today, investors have focused on global
economic news, wary of signs of further economic slowdown in the
world's markets. Japan's disappointing GDP growth of 1.4% in the
three months to June, which was below the forecast of 2.7% growth,
and the cutting of 2012 growth estimates for China to 7.7% from 8%
by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, are weighing on market
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (
) is down 0.2%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is
down 0.9%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is up 0.9%.
In financial news, Pacific Mercantile Bancorp (PMBC) is up 3%
after it reported net income of $5.8 million, or $0.35 per diluted
share, for the second quarter of 2012. This compares to $1.2
million, or 0.08 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2011.
This improvement was primarily attributable to an increase of $7.2
million in mortgage banking revenues to $8.5 million and a non cash
income tax benefit of $4.1 million, in each case in the three
months ended June 30, 2012.
Bank of America Corporation (BAC) is down 0.3% after agreeing to
sell its international wealth management businesses based outside
of the U.S. to Julius Baer Group for an estimated 1.2% of client
assets. Consideration received will be comprised of up to $250
million in new Julius Baer shares, and the remainder in cash.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is down 0.8% while Energy
Select Sector SPDR (XLE) is down 0.8%.
In corporate news, Eagle Rock Energy Partners, L.P. (EROC) is
down 2.7%, nearing its year low of $8.25, after signing a
definitive agreement to acquire BP America Production Company's
Sunray and Hemphill processing plants and associated 2,500 mile
gathering system serving the liquids-rich Texas Panhandle for
$227.5 million in cash, subject to customary purchase price
adjustments. Eagle Rock and BP will enter into at closing a
20-year, fixed-fee Gas Gathering and Processing Agreement under
which Eagle Rock will gather and process BP's natural gas
production from the existing connected wells. Furthermore, BP and
its joint venture partners will commit to Eagle Rock under the same
Gas Gathering and Processing terms all future natural gas
production from new wells drilled within an initial two-year period
from closing, subject to mutually-agreed extensions, and within a
two-mile radius of the existing 2,500 mile gathering system.
Tesoro (TSO) is up 9%, and has hit a new year high of $39.23,
after its board of directors approved agreements for the company to
purchase BP's (BP) integrated Southern California refining and
marketing business for $1.18 bln, plus the value of inventory at
the time of closing. At current prices, the inventory is valued at
$1.3 bln. TSO expects earnings per share accretion to be about 24%
in each of the first and second year of operations. BP ADRs are
Crude was down 0.31%. United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 0.2%.
Natural gas was down 0.14%, nearing its 52-week low of $2.22.
United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) is down 1.1%.
Gold was down around 0.2% while silver was down 0.8%. Among rare
metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.6% and iShares Silver
Trust (SLV) is down 1.1%.
Healthcare and biotech ETFs are in the red at mid-day: Health
Care SPDR (XLV), down 0.5%, down from near year highs; iShares
NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB), down 0.5%; Vanguard Health Care
ETF (VHT), down 0.5%; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH),
Among stocks, Bioline RX (BLRX) is down 10.5%, sinking to a new
year low of $2.20. Last Friday, the company disclosed that it is
offering $75 million of mixed securities for sale.
Elan Corporation, plc (ELN) is up 5.7% after the company said
its Board of Directors has approved the spin-off of the discovery
science and Neotope Biosciences from the company. Completion of
this transaction will create two independent public companies.
Galena Biopharma (GALE) is up 4.7%, trimming earlier gains of
some 11%, after it was issued a patent from the Japan Patent Office
(JPO) for a Composition of Matter and Method of Treatment patent
covering Folate Binding Protein (FBP) peptide variants for use
either alone or in combination with the company's FBP cancer
vaccine, E39. The Japanese patent provides exclusivity in the
country until 2022, with additional worldwide patent filings
pending. The company also said that its Folate Binding Protein
Phase 1/2 trial is on track for results in 2013.
SAIC, Inc. (SAI) is down 1.5%. The company earlier announced
that it has completed the acquisition of maxIT Healthcare Holdings,
Inc., a healthcare information technology consulting firm based in
Westfield, Ind. Approximately 1,300 employees from maxIT Healthcare
have joined SAIC's Health Solutions Business Unit, led by Steve
Consumer ETFs are mostly lower: Consumer Staples Select Sector
SPDR (XLP), down 0.25%; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK),
up 0.04%; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), down 0.23%.
SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) is down 0.7%; PowerShares Dynamic
Retail (PMR), down 0.24%; and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), down
0.21%, off year highs.
In consumer news, Sears Holdings Corporation (SHLD) is up 5.4%
after the company filed paperwork to spin off its Hometown and
Outlet stores into a separate publicly-traded company. Several
hardware stores will also be included. The new ticker symbol will
be SHOS and the shares will be traded on NASDAQ.
FedEx Corporation (FDX) is down 0.4%. Earlier, the company said
it will offer voluntary buyout incentives to certain U.S.-based
employees in mostly non-operational staff groups as part of a
broader plan to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. It is
anticipated that the vast majority of employees eligible for these
incentives will be staff employees at FedEx Express and FedEx
Services. Shares are so far unchanged.
Power Play -
ETFs in the space are weaker: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF
(XLK), down 0.23%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), down
0.28%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), down
0.07%; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index
(IGV), down 0.58%.
SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is down 0.69%; and
Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) is down 1.72%.
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is
Among stocks, Ascent Solar Technologies (ASTI) is up 15.08%,
after hitting a new 52-week high of $1.60. Earlier, the company
announced the launch of a charger for the Samsung Galaxy S III
smart phone featuring ASTI's ultra light CIGS technology. The
charger incorporates the company's solar cells into a protective
Galaxy S III case, along with an ultra thin battery. The charger
adds minimal weight and size but provides improved battery life
using solar power.
Pervasive Software (PVSW) is up 22.14% after Actian Corporation
proposed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of PVSW common
stock for $8.50 per share in cash, in a transaction valued at
approximately $154 million.
FSI International (FSII) is up 52.23%, touching a new year high
of $6.20, after shares were halted earlier following the company's
announcement that it signed a definitive agreement to be acquired
by Tokyo Electron for $6.20 per share in cash, or an aggregate
equity purchase price of approximately $252.5 million. The purchase
price represents a premium of 53.5% to the closing price of FSII's
common shares on August 10. The acquisition has been unanimously
approved by the boards of directors of Tokyo Electron and FSII.
FSII's board unanimously recommends that the company's shareholders
tender their shares into the tender offer.
Google (GOOG) is steady higher, now up 1.89% after Reuters
reported the company will cut 20% of the workforce of Motorola
Mobility, or about 4,000 employees, and close down almost a third
of its offices around the world. The report cited a Google
spokeswoman, who added that Motorola would help the employees
affected by the downsizing by providing "generous severance
packages, as well as outplacement services to help people find new
jobs." Motorola Mobility was acquired by Google last year.