Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Firmer As Consumer Confidence Climbs to 5-Year High


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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.9%

iShares MSCI Japan Index ( EWJ ): now flat

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +1%

Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): +1.3%, near year highs

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ( VXX ) -2.4%, near 52 week lows

Broad Market Indicators

Most broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, continued to be firmer. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.9% and nearer to year highs. Consumer ETFs were in the green, spurred by upbeat the May consumer confidence index, which came in at 76.2, topping analysts' expectations for a reading of 72.3, and up from a prior reading of 69 in April.

U.S. stocks were also firmly in positive territory. Aside from the better-than-expected consumer confidence data, market sentiment brightened after the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index showed that prices for U.S. homes rose 1.4% in March - the highest year-over-year growth rate since April 2006.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 1.3% and near year highs. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 3.3%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 3.2% and nearer 52 week lows.

Among financial stocks, CapLease (LSE) shares were up 20% and at year highs after agreeing to a $2.2 billion merger offer from American Realty Capital (ARCP). The offer is worth $8.50 a share and is a roughly 20% premium to the closing price of $7.10 on Friday. American Realty was up 3%, but well off a day high $17.70, which is shy of a year high $18.05.

Technology -

Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was up 0.8%, near its 52-week high. Other tech ETFs iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM) and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV) were also firmer.

Semiconductor ETFs SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) are higher at mid-day. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was flat.

In sector news, Canadian Solar (CSIQ) was one of the top gainers in the sector, up 18% and with a new 52-week high of $10.65. The solar wafers, cells and solar module products company narrowed its Q1 loss from the prior year period to beat analysts' estimates. Revenues declined from a year ago but also topped Street view.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) were in positive territory, up 1.4% and 1.2%, respectively, and both nearer year highs.

In sector news, Seadrill (SDRL) was up 2.5% and at the higher end of its 52-week range, after its Q1 results topped Street expectations.

Commodities -

Crude was up 0.97%; natural gas was down 1.67%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 1.5%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.7%.

Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.1% but well off day highs; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.15%.

Healthcare -

Health Care SPDR (XLV) was up 1.20% and near its 52-week high, while other healthcare ETFs Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) have also turned positive. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was also higher, up 1.38%.

In corporate news, Omthera Pharmaceuticals (OMTH) has soared nearly 100% and has hit new 52 week highs. The specialty pharmaceutical company earlier said it is being acquired by AstraZeneca (AZN) for $12.70 per share, or about $323 million. Additionally, each Omthera shareholder will receive contingent value rights of up to $4.70 per share, equating to $120 million in total, if certain milestones are achieved, bringing the total potential acquisition cost to $443 million. AZN ADRs were up 1.6%.

Power Play -

Consumer -

Consumer ETFs were firmer, in line with the broader market rally, following the report that the consumer confidence index for May reached a five year high.

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was up 0.36% and near year highs; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) were also in the green, drawing near their 52-week highs.

Retail ETFs were firmer, with SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) and PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) also nearing their 52-week highs. Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) on the other hand has hit a new 52-week high of $53.43.

In sector news, Tiffany (TIF) trimmed earlier gains of some 6% and was up 4% at last check at around $79.30, after hitting a new 52-week high of $81.25. The jeweler and specialty retailer reported better-than-expected Q1 results, and issued FY14 EPS outlook in line with analysts' expectations.

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

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities
More Headlines for: EEM , EWJ , SPY , VXX , XLF

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