Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Edge Higher on Mostly Upbeat Economic Data


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Active broad-market exchange-traded funds in Tuesday's regular session:

SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust ( SPY ): +0.2%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): -0.3%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM ( VXX ): -1.7%, nearer 52-week lows

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ): +0.1%, nearer 52-week highs

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): +0.9%, nearer 52-week highs

Broad Market Indicators

Most broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, were firmer. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.3%, nearer 52-week highs.

U.S. stocks have recovered some of their earlier losses, finding support in the mostly upbeat economic data reported today. The S&P Case-Shiller index grew 1.8% and the Federal Housing Finance Agency's index rose 1%, both for the month of July. Meanwhile, the Conference Board's consumer confidence index for September slipped to 79.7 in September from a revised 81.8 in August - a narrower decline than expected.

Concerns over the U.S. debt ceiling and continuing tensions in Syria were assuaged somewhat by President Obama's remarks before the U.N. General Assembly; the President said that the U.S. will continue to seek diplomatic solutions to the crisis in Syria. Other issues in Washington like the debt ceiling, and a continuing stream of comments from members of the Federal Reserve, are keeping some investors on the sidelines and gains in check.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 0.1%, nearer its 52-week highs. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 0.4%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 0.2%.

Among financial stocks, Gain Capital Holdings (GCAP) is up more than 10% and has hit new 52-week highs after the independent provider of online forex trading reported operating metrics for the month of August 2013. GCAP reported retail OTC trading volume of $123.2 billion, a decrease of 13.1% from July 2013 and an increase of 30.9% from August 2012. Average daily retail OTC trading volume was $5.6 billion, a decrease of 9.1% from July 2013 and an increase of 36.8% from August 2012.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) were firmer, both up around 0.7%.

In sector news, Emerald Oil (EOX) was down 5.35% after the independent oil exploration and production operator late Monday announced plans to sell 15 million shares of its common stock in a public offering. It expects to use net proceeds from the offering to accelerate its development and growth plans as well as funding leases and acquisition costs in addition to its capital expenditures. EOX granted 30-day options to underwriters to purchase up to 2.25 million additional shares to cover possible overallotments.

Commodities -

Crude was down 0.85%, and United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.78%. Natural gas was down 2.23%, and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 2.75%.

Gold was down 0.9%, while SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.5%. Silver was down 1.24%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was slightly higher.

Consumer -

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was down 0.2%. Other consumer ETFs iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) were both slightly higher.

In sector news, Inventure Foods (SNAK) gained more than 10% and earlier hit a 52-week high of $11.37, after saying it plans to acquire substantially all of the assets of Fresh Frozen Foods, LLC, a branded frozen vegetable processor based in Jefferson, Georgia. The letter of intent proposes a purchase price of $38 million at closing plus deferred consideration in the form of an earn-out of up to $3 million based on 2014 performance, subject to certain closing and post-closing purchase price adjustments. The transaction, if completed, is anticipated to be immediately accretive to earnings.

Healthcare -

Health Care SPDR (XLV) was down 0.1%. Among other healthcare ETFs, Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were slightly up. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.4%.

In corporate news, Neogen (NEOG) was up 1.7% and has posted a new 52-week high of $60.99 after the food-safety solutions company reported a rise in Q1 earnings to $0.32 per share from $0.28 during the year earlier quarter and matching the Capital IQ analyst consensus call. Revenue rose 18% year over year to $58.5 million, topping analyst estimates by $2.5 million.

Power Play -

Technology -

Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was down 0.15%, but near 52-week highs. Among other tech ETFs, iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW) and iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), on the other hand, were firmer. iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV) slipped 0.3%.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) were both higher. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was flat.

In tech sector news, Yahoo!(YHOO) shares have advanced 3.5%, earlier rising to a new 52-week high of $31.53 with shares appearing to once again earn investor attention following CEO Melissa Mayer's ongoing clean-up and rebuild efforts.

Also noted in reports is YHOO hiring Jean-Baptiste Queru, previously with Google's (GOOG) Android team and who will take a senior principal engineering position on YHOO's mobile team.

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

Copyright (C) 2014 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing Commodities
Referenced Stocks: EEM , IWM , SPY , VXX , XLF

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