Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Extend Gains,s S&P 500 Vaults Over Record High; Pending Home Sales Data, Consumer Data Upbeat

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

SPDR Trust Series I ( SPY ) +0.74%

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ) +1.10%


iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ( VXX ) -2.02%

Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ) +0.46%

PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ) +1.26%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, continued to be firmer. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was up 1.26%.

U.S. stocks continued to firm up, with the S&P 500 topping its record close of 1,593.37. Market sentiment remained rosy following the report that March pending home sales grew 1.5%, better than the forecasts of an increase of 0.1%, according to Briefing.com.

Earlier gains were spurred by the Commerce Department's report that consumer spending in the U.S. increased 0.2% for the month of March, a little above the forecasts of 0.1% increase, according to MarketWatch. Personal income rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2%, missing the prices, as the dollar extended its weakness from last week, and as analysts continued to expect easy-monetary policies among key central banks.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 0.46%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 1.43%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 1.3%.

Among financial stocks, CNA Financial (CNA) slipped 2% but earlier touched a new 52-week high of $34.97 reports Q1 net income of $250 million, or $0.93 per share, which is well above analysts estimates of $0.71 per share for Q1.

Technology -

Tech ETFs were firmer, at the higher end of their 52-week ranges: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), up 1.36%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), up 1.58%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), up 1.25%; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), up 1%.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 1.52% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 1.24%.

SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) slipped 0.14%.

In sector news, SINA (SINA) pared earlier gains of some 23% and was up 10.52% at last check after the company said it has reached an agreement on a strategic alliance between several entities affiliated with SINA, including PRC subsidiaries of Weibo Corporation, and several entities affiliated with Alibaba Group, including Taobao (China) Software Co., Ltd. and Zhejiang Tmall.com Technology Co., Ltd., to jointly explore social commerce and develop innovative marketing solutions to enable merchants on Alibaba e-commerce platforms to better connect and build relationships with Weibo users.

The two companies will cooperate in the areas of user account connectivity, data exchange, online payment and online marketing, among other things, and will explore new business models for social commerce based on the interactions of the hundreds of millions of users on Weibo and on Alibaba's e-commerce platforms. The strategic alliance is expected to generate approximately $380 million in advertising and social commerce services revenues in aggregate for Weibo over the next three years.

Separately, the company announced that Alibaba, through a wholly owned subsidiary, has invested $586 million to purchase preferred and ordinary shares representing approximately 18% of Weibo on a fully-diluted basis. SINA has also granted an option to Alibaba to enable Alibaba to increase its ownership in Weibo to 30% on a fully diluted basis at a mutually agreed valuation within a certain period of time in the future.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.93% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 1.08%.

In sector news, Broadwind Energy (BWEN) climbed 10.10% after it announced a $34 million order for towers from a US wind turbine manufacturer. Broadwind will produce the towers in its Abilene, Texas facility with delivery scheduled to begin in fourth-quarter 2013 and extend into 2014.

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs were firmer: Health Care SPDR (XLV), up 0.63%; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), up 0.57%; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), up 0.41%. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.77% .

In corporate news, Bayer HealthCare LLC has signed a merger agreement with Conceptus, Inc. (CPTS), developer of the non-surgical permanent birth control method Essure. The transaction values Conceptus at approximately $1.1 billion, representing $31 per share in cash. Bayer will launch a public tender offer to acquire all shares in Conceptus. Closing is subject to customary conditions, in particular anti-trust approval in the U.S., and is expected by mid-year 2013. CPTS shares were up 19.36%.

Consumer -

Consumer ETFs were higher but the sector underperformed the broader market: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.07%; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), up 0.14%; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up 0.18%.

In sector news, Penske Automotive (PAG) was up 5.74% after it reported Q1 2013 revenue of $3.4 billion, compared to $3.2 billion in the same period last year, an increase of 7.7%. Net income was $57.7 million, or $0.64 per share and operating earnings were $0.63 per share. Analysts expected a earnings of $0.62 per share on $3.48 billion in revenue.

Power Play -

Commodities -

Gold extended its gains into the session's half, as the dollar continued to slip lower. Gold is up 1.12% and silver was up 2.09%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.91%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 1.77%.

Crude was up 1%; June natural gas is up 1.02%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 1.18%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 3.06%.

Among stocks, Gold Resource (GORO) has reversed earlier losses of some 7% and was up 1.01% at last check after the company lowered its monthly dividend for April 2013 to $0.03 per share from $0.06 per share. The dividend is payable on May 23, 2013 to shareholders of record as of May 13, 2013. The company said it lowered the monthly dividend due to precious metal price market volatility and capital needed for current expansion activities.



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.

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


This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: EEM , QQQ , SPY , VXX , XLF

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As of 12/26/2014, 04:15 PM


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