Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Continue to Slip Lower Following A Spate of Lackluster Economic Data

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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.71%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): -1.74%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM ( VXX ): +4.42%

Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): -0.82%

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): -1.23%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, continue to be weaker. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) is down 1%.

U.S. stocks continue to be in negative territory, pressured by mostly downbeat economic data released today: January existing home averaged 4.93 mln; the February Philadelphia Fed had its worst reading since June 2012; and January leading indicators were 0.2%. All three missed analysts' forecasts. Earlier economic data were also disappointing, with weekly U.S. jobless claims climbing to 362,000, more than economists polled by Briefing.com had expected. The January consumer price index also fell short of expectations, and remained unchanged for the month. Core prices, however, which exclude food and energy costs, rose 0.3%, above forecasts.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) is down 0.85%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is down 2.23%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is up 2.45%.

Among financial stocks, Carlyle Group (CG) is down 8.97%. It reported Q4 earnings of $0.47 per share, ex one-time items, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.66. Revenues were $755.3 mln, versus the analyst estimate of $557.35 mln. The company also reports assets under management for the quarter increased 4% to $53.3 billion.

Technology -

Tech ETFs are weaker at mid-day: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), down 0.88%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), down 1.24%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), down 1.14% and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), down 1.09%.

Semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is down 2.91% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) is down 1.96%.

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

In sector news, Rubicon Technology (RBCN) shares are now down 14.21%, touching a new 52-week low of $4.83 after the company late Wednesday reported a Q4 loss of $0.05 per share, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.04 loss per share. Revenues were $20.09 mln, in line with the analyst estimates. The company expects to report a loss per share of $0.14 - $0.10 for Q1, on revenues of approximately $8 mln. The Street view is a loss o $0.02 per share on revenues of $19.6 mln.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is down 1.06% while Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) is down 1.02%.

In sector news, Chesapeake Energy (CHK) is down 0.25% after the company reported Q4 earnings of $0.26 per share, ex one-time items, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.14. Revenues were $3.54 bln, versus the analyst estimate of $3.08 bln. The company said that its daily production for the quarter averaged 3.931 bcfe, an increase of 9% from the average 3.596 bcfe produced per day in the same quarter last year and a decrease of 5% from the average 4.142 bcfe produced per day in Q3.

Commodities -

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) increased by 4.1 mln barrels from the previous week. Crude was down 2.39% after United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 2.19%.

Natural gas inventory showed a draw of 127 bcf vs expectations for a draw of 123 bcf. Natural gas was down 0.88%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) is down 0.87%.

Gold was up 0.04% and silver was up 0.38%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 1%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 0.80%.

Consumer -

Consumer ETFs are mixed: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.45%, nearing the 52-week high; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), down 0.33%; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up 0.23%.

In sector news, TreeHouse Foods (THS) is up 9.27% after it reported Q4 earnings of $0.86 per share, ex one-time items, in line with the Capital IQ consensus estimate. Revenues were $592.78 mln, versus the analyst estimate of $577.42 mln.

Power Play -

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs are lower, but trading at the higher end of their 52-week ranges: Health Care SPDR (XLV), down 0.37%; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), down 0.60%; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), down 0.67%. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) is down 0.76%.

In corporate news, Repros Therapeutics (RPRX) is now up 31.14% after it provided a clinical update of its Androxal Phase 3 program following receipt of written guidance from the FDA.

The FDA has informed Repros to proceed with the analysis of ZA-301 as previously planned, and that data should be evaluated both with and without patients from the high enrolling site where the patients' baseline characteristics appeared different from other sites in the study. Additionally, the FDA accepted Repros' plan regarding study ZA-302 to enroll additional patients.



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 , IWM , SPY , VXX , XLF

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As of 4/23/2014, 12:57 PM