Active broad-market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:
SPDR S&P 500 (
PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 (
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (
iShares Russell 2000 Index (
Financial Select Sector SPDR (
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and
others, are modestly firmer. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (
) is up 0.4%.
U.S. stocks are slightly higher, boosted by a report that weekly
jobless-claims declined 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 370,000.
Market sentiment found some support from ECB President Mario
Draghi's announcement that the ECB will maintain current interest
rates although he also said Europe's economic woes will continue
into the second half of 2013. In U.S. fiscal talks, President Obama
suggested that Republicans might budge in their opposition to
higher tax rates on high-income earners. But investors are still
cautious on the issue of the so-called 'fiscal cliff'. They are now
also turning their focus to the November nonfarm payrolls report,
which will be released this Friday.
Winners and Losers
are firmer: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), up 0.56%;
iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), up 0.57%; iShares
S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM); up 0.65%; and iShares
S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), up
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is up
1.1% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) is up 0.7%.
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is up
In sector news, Akamai Technologies Inc. (AKAM) is up more than
9% and nearer the stock's year high after the company announced its
strategic alliance with AT&T (T), in which the companies will
deliver a global suite of content delivery network (CDN) solutions
to companies. AT&T shares are down 0.65%.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is down 0.12% and Energy Select
Sector SPDR (XLE) is down 0.04%.
In sector news, Ivanhoe Energy (IVAN) is up more than 10% and
moving further away from 52 week lows after announcing that Chinese
regulators have approved the transfer of its participating interest
in an exploration and production contract for the Zitong Block of
the Sichuan Basin to a Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) subsidiary. The
Nov. 28 decision sets the stage for IVAN to increase its pre-tax
working capital by $105 million. RDS.A shares are up 0.2%.
Crude was down 2.16%; natural gas was also lower, down 1.57%.
United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 2% but United States Natural
Gas Fund (UNG) has turned up.
Gold was up 0.32%; silver was up 0.51%. Among rare metal funds,
SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.3%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up
Healthcare ETFs are mostly lower: Health Care SPDR (XLV), down
0.2%; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), now down 0.1%; and iShares
Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), down 0.07%. Biotech ETF iShares
NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) is down 0.39%.
In corporate news, Hi-Tech Pharmacal (HITK) is now up 13% after
it reported Q2 earnings of $0.66 per share, ex one-time items,
versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.56. Revenues were $57.54 mln,
versus the analyst estimate of $55.79 mln. In the same period last
year, the company reported EPS of $1.04 on revenues of $56.86
Consumer ETFs are mostly higher: Consumer Staples Select Sector
SPDR (XLP), up 0.1%, nearing year highs; iShares Dow Jones US
Consumer Goods (IYK), slightly lower; and Vanguard Consumer Staples
ETF (VDC), up 0.14%.
Retail ETFs are firmer: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), up 0.35%;
PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), up 0.7%; and Market Vectors
Retail ETF (RTH), up 0.3% and posting a new 52 week high.
In sector news, Vera Bradley, Inc. (VRA) is down 12% after it
reported that in Q3, it earned $0.44 per diluted share on revenues
of $138.3 million. According to Yahoo Finance, analysts were
expecting VRA to earn $0.60 per share on revenues of $158.65
Power Play -
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (
) is up 0.2%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is up
0.4%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is down 0.4%.
Among financial stocks, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) and Epoch
Holding Corporation (EPHC), including its subsidiary Epoch
Investment Partners, Inc., have signed a definitive agreement under
which Epoch will be acquired by TD Bank Group for approximately
$668 million, in an all-cash transaction. Epoch Holding Corporation
shareholders will receive $28.00 in cash per share, representing a
premium of approximately 28% to Epoch's closing price on December
5, 2012. EPHC shares are now up 26.5%, near the year high of
$27.87, while TD shares are down 2% .