Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Firm Up As Optimistic Comments from Obama, Boehner Ease Fiscal Cliff Worries

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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.3%

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): +0.2%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +0.2%

Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): -0.06%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM ETN ( VXX ): -0.9%, nearing year lows

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, are mixed. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) is up 0.34%.

U.S. stocks have rebounded after spending most of the session's first half in the red due to fiscal cliff worries and a lower-than-expected October new home sales. Market sentiment has now improved, buoyed by comments from House Speaker John Boehner, who was optimistic that an agreement to avert the so-called fiscal cliff could be reached soon. President Obama, who met with the top executives from U.S. companies that include Caterpillar (CAT), Goldman Sachs (GS), and Deloitte LLP, reiterated his stance that tax cuts should be extended to the middle class while top earners should have tax raises. Still ahead, the October Beige Book will be reported at 14:00 ET.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) has turned negative and is now down 0.1%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) too has turned negative to be 0.3% lower. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is now up 0.3%.

Among financial stocks, Knight Capital Group (KCG) is up 14% after reports that Getco, a the Chicago-based high-frequency trader, has made a $3.50 per share bid for the financial services firm.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is up 0.1%; Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) has lost gains and is now flat.

In sector news, Callon Petroleum's (CPE) subsidiary, Callon Petroleum Operating Company, has sold its 11.25% working interest in the Habanero field (Garden Banks Block 341) to Shell Offshore Inc., a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS.A), for a contemplated base purchase price of $42 million. The effective date of this transaction will be Oct. 1, 2012. The company plans to use the cash proceeds from this asset divestiture, net of purchase price adjustments, to repay borrowings under its revolving credit facility. CPE shares are up 4.3%.

Commodities -

Crude was down 1.19%; likewise, natural gas was down 3.31%. United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 1.3%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) is down 3%.

Gold was down 1.61% and silver was down 1.64%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 1.3%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 1%.

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs are mixed to higher: Health Care SPDR (XLV), up 0.4% and Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), up 0.2%. Meanwhile, iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) has turned positive and is now up 0.4%. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) is down 0.3%.

In corporate news, Vermillion Inc. (VRML) is up 38% but off day highs after the molecular diagnostics company reported positive top-line results of the "OVA500" study. The study confirms and extends the findings of the first OVA1 pivotal study published last year in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Consumer -

Consumer ETFs are higher: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.8% and nearer to 52 week highs; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), up 0.07%; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up 0.7%.

Retail ETFs are firmer: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), up 1%; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), up 0.79%; and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), up 1%, with a new 52-week high of $44.88.

In sector news, Movado Group (MOV) is up 9.25% after it reported Q3 earnings of $1.34 per share, ex one-time items, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.62. Revenues were $160.2 mln, versus the analyst estimate of $157.68 mln. In the same period last year, the company reported EPS of $0.65 on revenues of $142.6 mln. The company expects sales to be $510 mln and EPS to be $1.50 in FY13, versus the consensus of $509.39 mln in revenues and $1.49 in EPS.

Power Play -

Technology -

Tech ETFs are turning positive: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), now up 0.1%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), now up 0.2%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), now up 0.2%; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), up 0.4%.

Semiconductor ETFs are mixed, with SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD), now up 0.7% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX), up 0.6%.

SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is down 1.89%.

In sector news, Nokia (NOK) is up nearly 4% on reports the Finnish phone maker has won its WLAN-patent case against Research in Motion (RIMM). RIMM will now have to pay NOK royalties for handsets. Still, RIMM shares are up 3%.



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 , IWM , SPY , VXX , XLF

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As of 10/22/2014, 04:15 PM

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