Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Higher As Syria Worries Ease; Upbeat GDP, Jobless Claims Data Give Boost


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

SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust ( SPY ): +0.5%

Market Vectors Gold Miners ( GDX ): +1.7%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +1.3%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ( VXX ): +0.6%

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

Broad Market Indicators

Many broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, continue to log gains. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was up 1%.

U.S. stocks have also extended their gains, although they were off session highs, as fears over a possible attack on Syria by the U.S. dissipated and as upbeat economic data brightened market sentiment. The Commerce Department reported that Q2 GDP grew 2.5%, versus expectations of an increase of 2.3%, and revised up from the preliminary increase of 1.7%. Weekly jobless claims fell 6,000 to 331,000, a slightly larger drop versus the forecasts of a decline to 330,000.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was up 0.5%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 1.4%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 1.6%.

Among financial stocks, TD Bank Group (TD) was up 2.5% and nearer 52 week highs after it reported Q3 adjusted EPS were $1.65, above estimates for $1.62. Sales were $5.95 billion, below the consensus estimate of $6.1 billion. Barclays also set an Equal Weight rating on the bank compared to a Neutral industry view. It has an $88 price target.

Technology -

Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was up 0.9%; 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 firmer too.

Semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) were also in positive territory. And SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was up 0.58%.

In sector news, Methode Electronics (MEI) was up 32% and has hit fresh 52 week highs of $25 as it reported Q1 earnings of $0.36 per share on revenues of $167.3 million, beating analysts' forecasts. The company raises its guidance for FY14 EPS to $1.40 - $1.60 on revenues of $670 million - $700 million, also topping expectations.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) were in the red, both down 0.6%, but both are still at the high end of their 52 week ranges.

In sector news, Synergy Resources (SYRG) was up 4% and has hit a new 52-week high of $9.43 after the U.S. oil and gas exploration and production company said it will acquire 38 wells with a 27.5% working interest and 22% net revenue interest in 3,639 gross acres, 1,006 net acres of which 902 acres are located in the core of the Wattenberg Field.

Consumer -

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was up 0.7%; other consumer ETFs iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) were both higher too.

In sector news, Campbell Soup (CPB) was down near 3% after the company reported Q4 adjusted EPS of $0.45, vs. the analyst consensus of $0.42 per share on Capital IQ. Sales were $1.821 billion, vs. expectations of $1.835 billion. In fiscal 2014, the company expects continuing operations to grow sales by 5% to 6%, adjusted EBIT to grow by 5% to 7% and adjusted EPS to grow by 3% to 5% .

Healthcare -

Health Care SPDR (XLV) was up 0.75%; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were firmer. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB), was also higher, up 1.65%.

In corporate news, Bio-Reference Labs (BRLI) was up 3.7% after it reported record revenue of $185,427 for Q3, up 16% from the same quarter last year. Net income rose 17% to $12,596 with earnings of $0.53, beating analyst estimates of $0.51, and up from $0.45 per share for Q2 2012.

Power Play -

Commodities -

Crude turned negative and was down 0.75%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.18% but still near new 52 week highs.

Natural gas was down 1% and near its 52-week lows after the EIA reported that natural gas inventories showed a build of 67 bcf versus expectations for a build of 62 - 63 bcf. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.08%.

Gold was down 0.73%; SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.7%. Silver was down 1.84%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 1.96%.

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 , GDX , QQQ , SPY , VXX

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