Active broad-market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:
SPDR S&P 500 (
Financial Select Sector SPDR (
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (
PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 (
iShares Russell 2000 Index (
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and
others, are mixed. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (
) is down 0.7%.
U.S. stocks have returned to trading flat with earlier gains
dissolving after the University of Michigan-Thomson Reuters
preliminary consumer sentiment index for December showed a decline
to 74.5 from 82.7 in November. Stocks ticked higher earlier on
upbeat employment data: the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.7% --
its lowest level since December 2008, and better than forecasts. In
November, nonfarm payrolls added 146,000 jobs while nonfarm private
payrolls added 147,000. Hourly wages rose 0.2%, above expectations,
while the average workweek was reported at 34.4, meeting
economists' forecasts. Markets largely shrugged off the latest
comments of House Speaker John Boehner about the ongoing budget
talks, likely signaling that investors are not expecting progress
at this point.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (
) is up 0.6% and nearer to 52 week highs. Direxion Daily Financial
Bull 3X shares (FAS) is up 1.1%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is
down 1.1% and nearer to 52 week lows.
Among financial stocks, American International Group Inc. (AIG)
is now up nearly 2% following a Bloomberg report that a group led
by New China Trust Co. and its chairman Weng Xianding is in talks
to buy a controlling stake in AIG's aircraft-leasing unit. The
report says that the group, which includes China Aviation Industry
Fund and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., is bidding
for International Lease Finance Corp. together with ILFC's
management. A deal may value ILFC at about $5.5 billion, the report
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is up 0.37% and Energy Select
Sector SPDR (XLE) is up 0.39%.
In sector news, Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) is now up 0.3%,
recovering earlier losses, after the company and Rosneft have
signed a pilot development agreement, establishing a joint project
to assess the possibility of commercial production of tight oil
reserves at the Bazhenov and Achimov formations in Western Siberia.
The companies will set up a joint venture to run a pilot program
and potential commercial production with equity interests of 51%
for Rosneft and 49% for ExxonMobil. Work will be carried out at
Rosneft's 23 license blocks covering a total area more than 10,000
Crude was down 0.02%; likewise, natural gas was down 1.69%.
United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 0.4%. United States Natural
Gas Fund (UNG) is down 1.3%.
Gold was up 0.03%; silver was down 0.21%. Among rare metal
funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.36%; iShares Silver Trust
(SLV) is now up 0.22%.
are mostly higher: Health Care SPDR (XLV), up 0.2%; Vanguard Health
Care ETF (VHT), now up 0.01%; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare
(IYH), up 0.13%. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index
(IBB) is down 0.66%.
In corporate news, Amarin Corporation plc (AMRN) is down 18.5%
as it announced a $100 million non-equity financing with an
investment fund managed by Pharmakon Advisors, and that the company
is continuing its preparations to commercialize Vascepa capsules
with the hiring of a sales force in the United States. Payments by
Amarin under this hybrid debt-like instrument are expected to be
made over a 3.5-year period commencing in November 2013 and to
continue through early 2017.
Consumer ETFs are firmer: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR
(XLP), up 0.64% and closer to 52 week highs; iShares Dow Jones US
Consumer Goods (IYK), up 0.4% and also closer to 52 week highs;
Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up 0.5%.
Retail ETFs: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), down 0.05% but above day
lows; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), now positive; and Market
Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), down 0.07%, but earlier reached a new
year high of $45.54.
In sector news, Dole Food Company, Inc. (DOLE) is up 1.7% after
it announced the stockholder approval of the sale of its worldwide
packaged foods and Asia fresh businesses to ITOCHU Corporation for
$1.685 billion in cash.
Power Play -
Tech ETFs are mostly lower: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF
(XLK), down 0.7%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), also
down 0.7%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), now
down 0.4%; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software
Index (IGV), down 0.1%.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is
down 0.4% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) is down
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is up
In sector news, Comtech Telecommunications Corp. (CMTL) is down
near 6%, having earlier hit a new year low after reporting in
Thursday's after-hours trading its fiscal Q1 earnings.