Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks In the Red As Fiscal Talks Stalemate, Downbeat Economic Data Weigh


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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.18%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +0.02%

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): -0.43%

iShares MSCI Japan Index ( EWJ ): -0.48%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM ETN ( VXX ): +2%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, are mostly mixed. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) is down 0.27%.

U.S. stocks have reversed back in to negative territory as no signs of a compromise over the U.S. budget being reached can be seen. Negotiations ground to a halt after reports late yesterday stated that House Republicans opposed the Obama administration's bid of $1.6 trillion in new tax revenue and an unlimited debt ceiling. Downbeat economic data is also weighing on market sentiment: October consumer spending fell 0.2%, missing the economists' forecasts of a 0.1% growth; personal income was flat, versus the forecast of a 0.2% growth; and the Chicago Purchasing Managers' Index rose to a 50.4 reading this month from a 49.9 reading in October, but also missed estimates.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) is down 0.16%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is down 0.23%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is up 0.23%.

Among financial actives, Barclays PLC (BCS) is up 0.77% after Reuters reported that the bank could ax as many as 3,500 investment bank staff jobs and cut its advisory or equities operations in Asia as part of a broader strategic review aimed at fixing the bank's culture in the wake of the financial crisis. Reuters said the future shape and size of the investment bank is seen as the most critical part of Chief Executive Antony Jenkins' review, as it contributes more than half of group profits but conducts the "casino" activities politicians and regulators are cracking down on.

Technology -

Tech ETFs are weaker in mid-day action: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), down 0.17%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), down 0.35%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), down 0.34%; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), down 0.24%.

Semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) has turned positive and is now up 0.14%. Ditto with Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX), now up 0.06%.

SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is up 0.04%.

In sector news, NTELOS (NTLS) is down 23.5% and has set a new 52-week low amid chatter on Twitter that David Nixon of FBR believes Sprint (S) will end its wholesale deal with NTLS, with an announcement set for FY13 (ends in March). FBR noted the Sprint deal accounted for 32.4% of NTELOS' 2011 wireless revenue, and 57.4% of its adjusted EBITDA.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is flat; Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) is down 0.03%.

In sector news, Abraxas Petroleum (AXAS) is up 0.9% after it said that it expects Q4 production to average between 4,300 BOEPD - 4,500 BOEPD, reflecting the company's sale of its Nordheim properties, whch will close in mid-December. AXAS also expects 2013 production to average between 4,900 BOEPD - 5,200 BOEPD, which equates to about 21% - 28% growth over 2012. The company added that it is actively marketing numerous assets which it deems non-core, assets with a low working interest or assets with little associated production that are not reflected in this guidance.

Commodities -

Crude was up 0.5%; natural gas was down 1.21%. United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 1%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) is down 2.2%.

Gold was down 0.62%; silver was down 2.05%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.8%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 2.5%.

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs: Health Care SPDR (XLV), has turned slightly positive; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), down 0.1%; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), down 0.1%. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) is down 0.66%.

In corporate news, Exelixis (EXEL) is down 7%. Shares were halted in yesterday's after-hours session, following news that the company received approval from both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for Cometriq (cabozantinib) to treat medullary thyroid cancer that has metastasized, or spread to other parts of the body. Cometriq is a kinase inhibitor that blocks abnormal kinase proteins involved in the development and growth of medullary cancer cells. It is only the second

drug approved by the FDA to treat medullary thyroid cancer in the past two

years. Also, Stifel Nicolaus reportedly raised its price target on shares of EXEL from $8.00 to $9.00. According to Bloomberg, the company has gained 27% in the past 12 months so maybe the news was already priced in.

Power Play -

Consumer -

Consumer ETFs: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.1% and near year highs; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), down 0.29%; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), now up 0.05%.

Retail ETFs are mostly higher: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), down 0.5%; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), now down 0.12%; and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), up 0.44%, with a new 52-week high of $45.26.

In sector news, Genesco (GCO) is down 7.5%, reversing modest pre-market gains. The company earlier reported Q3 earnings of $1.44 per share, ex one-time items, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $1.33. Revenues were $664.5 mln, versus the analyst estimate of $659.86 mln. Comparable store sales in the quarter increased by 4%. The company raises its guidance, now expecting FY13 EPS of $5.00 - $5.08, up from the prior range of $4.88 - $5.00. Analysts are looking for $5.02 EPS. Comparable store sales are projected to increase 4% for the full year.

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 , EWJ , IWM , SPY , VXX

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