Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Mixed as Fiscal Cliff Worries Continue to Overshadow Upbeat Housing, Consumer Data


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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): has turned negative, -0.06%

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): +0.30%

Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): -0.19%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): -0.3%

PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1( QQQ ): +0.15%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, are mixed. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) is up 0.15%.

U.S. stocks are struggling to find a firm foothold in either positive or negative territory. The impending fiscal cliff continues to preoccupy investors, as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned that the global economy could slip back into recession should the U.S. fail to solve the fiscal cliff issue, according to Market Watch. Upbeat reports on housing and consumer confidence, as well as an agreement by European finance ministers, the ECB and the IMF on a $57 bln aid for Greece were unable to lift market sentiment.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) is down 0.25%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is down 0.4%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is up 0.6%.

Among financial stocks, Zions Bancorp (ZION) is down more than 3% after the release of presentation materials for an investor conference set for later today, according to The Wall Street Journal. As a result, Sandler O'Neill lowered its Q4 earnings estimate for the company, the Journal report stated.

Technology -

Tech ETFs are slightly higher: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), has turned slightly positive; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), was up 0.2%; and iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), up 0.3%. But iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV) is slightly lower.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is up 0.7%; Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) is up 0.5%.

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

In sector news, Immersion (IMMR) is up more than 30% after it signed a settlement and license agreement with Google (GOOG) and Motorola Mobility LLC, resolving the patent infringement litigation brought by the company against Motorola. The agreement does not extend to other manufacturers' handsets that use the Android operating system. As a result of the settlement, IMMR will dismiss all pending litigation it has filed against Motorola. GOOG shares are up 1.39%.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is down 0.6% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) is down 0.6%.

In sector news, Rowan Companies plc (RDC) is down 3.6% after issuing its monthly report of drilling rig status and contract information as of November 27, 2012.

Commodities -

Crude was up 0.03%; natural gas was up 0.41%. United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 0.25%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) has turned slightly up.

Gold was down 0.19%; silver was down 0.10%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.3%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 0.3%.

Consumer -

Consumer ETFs are modestly firmer: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.3%; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), up 0.5%; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up 0.5%.

In sector news, Thor Industries (THO) is down 10% after the recreation vehicles and small and mid-size buses manufacturer reported late Monday Q1 sales of $875.6 million, up 30% from $673 million in Q1 2013. Diluted EPS for the period weighed in at $0.58 per share, compared to $0.41 for the comparable period in 2012. The analyst consensus had revenue pegged at $876.8 mln and EPS of $0.62.

Power Play

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs are mostly higher: Health Care SPDR (XLV), now down 0.1%; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), now down 0.01%. But iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) has turned slightly positive and Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) is up 0.03%.

In corporate news, ACADIA Pharmaceuticals (ACAD) is now up more than 140% after touching a new year high of $6.53. The company earlier reported successful top-line results from its pivotal Phase III trial evaluating the efficacy, tolerability and safety of pimavanserin in patients with Parkinson's disease psychosis (PDP). Pimavanserin met the primary endpoint in the Phase III trial by demonstrating highly significant antipsychotic efficacy as measured using the 9-item SAPS-PD scale.

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 , IWM , QQQ , SPY , XLF

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