Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Mixed As Street Look Ahead to Thursday's Jobless Claims, Housing Data


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Active broad-market exchange-traded funds at Wednesday's regular session:

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.1%, has turned positive, shy of all-time high.

iShares MSCI Japan ( EWJ ): -0.04%, shy of its 52-week high

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +0.8%.

PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): +0.4%, reaching a new 13-year high.

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ): +0.07%, near five-year highs

Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX): -2.3%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad market exchange-traded funds were mixed, but most were still near their record or multi-year highs. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) reached a new 13-year high of near $89.

U.S. stocks were also mixed to lower amid a muted reaction to earnings reports. Investors may be cautious ahead of the weekly jobless claims and existing home sales data due to be released Thursday.

Power Play: Healthcare

Health Care SPDR (XLV) and Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) and Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) were all slightly higher and all have reached fresh record highs.

In corporate news, Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT) was up near 5%, seeing continued strength over the last five days. Janney Capital Markets recently raised its target price on the biopharmaceutical company to $450 from $300, saying it has bullish expectations for the phase 2 programs of its Obeticholic Acid treatment, or OCA, in portal hypertension & primary/secondary bile acid diarrhea. In addition, Wedbush recently raised its price target on the stock to $449 from $72.

Winners and Losers


Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) and Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) were both up and near 52 week highs. FAZ, was down 0.7% and was near an all-time low.

Among financial stocks, Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC) was up 5% but nearly $2 off a fresh all-time high hit earlier, after the railroad operator posted fourth-quarter earnings and revenue above analysts' expectations and said it plans to invest 12% more in 2014 than 2013.


Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was down 0.05%, but just below its 12-year high. 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 all slightly higher. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was flat.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 0.5% and reached a new high of $62.92. Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 1%, and was near its all time high.

In stocks news, Super Micro Computer (SMCI) was up 24%, reaching a new high of $23.54, after the price target for the stock was raised to $27 from $18.50 at DA Davidson.


Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.3%, as was Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) too.

In corporate news, Gran Tierra Energy Inc. (GTE, GTE.TO) was up 6% on the back of the company's Tuesday announcement that it has found "significant" reserves at its Bretana oil field in Peru. The company said a qualified independent reserve evaluation of the company's Peru reserves by GLJ Petroleum Consultants Ltd. effective December 31, 2013 showed Breta a 2P had reserves of 61.5 million barrels of oil and 3P reserves of 113.9 million barrels of oil.


Crude was up 0.98%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 1.6%. Natural gas was up 3.47%, near its 52-week high and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 3.9%. Gold was down 0.22% and silver was down 0.05%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.2%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.3%.


Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was up 0.05%; other consumer ETFs Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) were also higher.

In stocks news, Coach (COH) was down 7% after it reported Q2 earnings of $1.06 per share, below the analyst consensus of $1.11 per share on Capital IQ. Sales were $1.42 billion, vs. expectations of $1.48 billion.

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
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