Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Rally On Proposed 2014 Budget, Fed Minutes


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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +1.22%, with a new 52-week high of $158.80

Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): +1.3%, with a new 52-week high of $18.52

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM ( VXX ): -2.5%, with a new 52-week low of $18.74

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +1.45%

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): +1.6%, near its 52-week high

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, were seeing sharp gains. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 2%.

U.S. stocks continued to climb to record highs, buoyed by news that President Barack Obama had already submitted to Congress his proposed 2014 budget, which includes cuts on entitlement programs and taxes on the wealthy. The proposed budget seeks to reduce the U.S. budget deficit by $2 trillion, while providing increased funding to education and infrastructure. Earlier, the minutes of the Federal Reserve meeting were released several hours ahead of schedule. While the minutes showed that most members of the Fed were for the eventual slowdown of the Fed's quantitative-easing program by later this year, market sentiment remained upbeat. In economic data news, weekly MBA mortgage applications increased 4.5%, from last week's decline of 4%. The March Treasury budget is still on tap, and will be released at 2:00 pm ET.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 1.3%, hitting a new 52-week high of $18.52. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 3.2%, also with a new 52-week high of $57.46. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 3.1%, with a new 52-week low of $39.94.

Among financial stocks, Realogy Holdings (RLGY) was down 2.3%, but is trimming earlier losses after the company said late Tuesday it expects Q1 revenue in the range of $950 million to $960 million, vs. the analyst consensus of $997 million Capital IQ. The company also said it sees adjusted EBITDA of $70 million - $74 million, up 32% to 40% from the prior year; net loss is seen at $69 million - $78 million, with an increase in sales volume of 14%.

Technology -

Tech ETFs were in positive territory: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), up 1.70%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), up 2%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), up 0.1%; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), up 2%.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 2% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 2.1%.

SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was up 1.13%.

In sector news, ADTRAN, Inc. (ADTN) is now up 12% but off day highs after the company reported late Tuesday first quarter 2013 non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.17 versus consensus estimate of $0.08. Revenues totaled $143 million, better than consensus estimate of $139.8 million. Year-ago non-GAAP earnings per share was $0.25, with revenues of $134.7 million. The company's Board of Directors declared a cash dividend for the first quarter of $0.09 per common share to be paid to holders of record at the close of business on April 25, 2013. The ex-dividend date is April 23, 2013 and the payment date is May 9, 2013.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.5% and nearer year highs and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.8%.

In sector news, Duke Energy (DUK) was up 0.8%, climbing to a new 52-week high of $73.28 after the company said it acquired two commercial solar power projects near Twentynine Palms, Calif., from project developer SolarWorld. The twin projects, named Highlander Solar 1 and 2, are in close proximity and will be run as a single operation. It will collectively generate 21 megawatts of renewable energy, enough to power more than 4,000 average homes each year.

Commodities -

Crude was down 0.28%, near its session highs; natural gas was up 3.24%. United States Oil Fund (USO) has turned positive and is now up 0.3%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 2.5%.

Gold was down 1.05%. Silver was also lower, down 0.94%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 1.5%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 1%.

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs saw sharp gains in mid-day action: Health Care SPDR (XLV), up 1.6%, with a new 52-week high of $47.38; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), up 1.6%, with a new 52-week high of $84.94; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), up 1.6%, with a new 52-week high of $99.06. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was also higher, up 2.5%, hitting a new 52-week high near $165.

In corporate news, Health Management Associates (HMA) was down near 18%, adding to its after hours losses experienced after the company said it expects to report Q1 diluted earnings of between $0.08 to $0.09 per share, well under the $0.24 per share profit analysts, if comparable, were expecting for the hospital operator. The company also said it expects to post quarterly revenue of $1.48 bln, which also trails the analyst consensus by around $270 mln.

Power Play -

Consumer -

Consumer ETFs and stocks continued to see active trade as several consumer companies report their financials: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.8% and hit year highs; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), up 0.9% and close to year highs; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up 0.9%, with a new 52-week high too.

Among companies reporting their earnings, CarMax (KMX) was up 2.5% with a new 52-week high of $43.42 after it reported Q4 GAAP earnings of $0.46 per share, just above the Capital IQ GAAP consensus of $0.45. Revenues were $2.83 billion, also beating the analyst estimate of $2.73 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
More Headlines for: EEM , IWM , SPY , VXX , XLF

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