Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Firm Up on Better-Than-Expected Private Payrolls, ISM Services Sector Data


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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.55%

PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): +0.70%

Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): +1.1%

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): +0.29%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM ETN ( VXX ): -0.6%, near year lows

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, are mostly firmer. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) is up 0.7%.

U.S. stocks continue to trade in the green, with market sentiment upbeat following the release of better-than-expected economic data. The Institute for Supply Management's September reading of business confidence in the U.S. service sector was 55.1%, topping forecasts, and was the best reading since March. Earlier, the ADP's reported that private payrolls expanded by 162,000 in September, better than the expected 153,000 increase in jobs that economists had forecast.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) is up 1.12%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is up 2.9%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is down 2.79%.

Among financial stocks, Ares Capital Corporation (ARCC) is off 1% from near its 52-week high after it said it plans to make a private offering of $200 million aggregate principal amount of its Convertible Senior Notes due 2018.

Technology -

Tech ETFs are in positive territory: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), up 0.6% and nearer to year highs; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), up 0.52%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), up 0.4%; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), up 0.8%. Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is down 0.16%; while Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) is up 0.1%.

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

In sector news, MetroPCS (PCS) is down near 10%, reversing earlier gains, after No. 4 cellular carrier T-Mobile USA offered to acquire a 74% stake of the No. 5 cellular carrier, paying $1.5 million in cash - or about $4 a share - to PCS shareholders. The deal is being structured as a reverse merger, with PCS the surviving company and giving T-Mobile a publicly traded stock and a new route to raise capital as well as a path to pare down its investment over time. The combined company will have about 42.5 million customers, still lagging behind No. 3 Sprint (S) by number of subscribers. It will be called T-Mobile and run by T-Mobile CEO John Legere.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is down 1%; and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) is down 1.1%.

In sector news, Penn Virginia Corp (PVA) shares are down more than 2% after the exploration and production company announced a deal to acquire about 4,100 acres of property in the Eagle Ford Shale of Texas for about $10 million.

Commodities -

Crude and metal prices fell as concerns about global growth came to the forefront again following a report that China's service industries expanded at a slow pace in September. Crude was down 2.76% while natural gas was down 4.59%. United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 3.6%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) is down 4.4%.

Gold was up 0.3%; silver hit an new session high of $34.93, up 0.23%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.1%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is flat.

Consumer -

Consumer ETFs are firmer: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.6% to near year highs; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), also up 0.6%; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up 0.5%, hitting a new year high.

Retail ETFs are mostly firmer: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), up 0.6%; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), off 0.08%; and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), up 1%, with a new year high.

In sector news, Best Buy (BBY) is up more than 4% following a Reuters report that founder Richard Schulze and at least four private equity firms are conducting due diligence on the company's books that could lead to a potential $11 billion buyout. Among the firms involved in the bid are Apollo Global Management, Cerberus Capital Management, TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners. Schulze is reportedly negotiating with each firm to determine how much of his nearly 20% stake in Best Buy he would add to the bid, as well as what role he would play after the buyout, according to Reuters. Schulze has previously said he could buy Best Buy for $24 to $26 per share, which when including debt, could peg the buyout at about $10.9 billion, Reuters noted.

Power Play -

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs are firmer: Health Care SPDR (XLV), up 0.75%, with a new year high of $40.90; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), up 0.7%, with a new year high; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), up 0.7%, also with a new year high. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) is up 0.5%, with a new year high.

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
More Headlines for: IWM , QQQ , SPY , VXX , XLF

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