Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Recovering After Putin Comments, Economic Data


Active broad-market exchange-traded funds in Friday's regular session:

SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust ( SPY ): +0.3%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ( VXX ): -0.9%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +1.5%

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): +0.5%

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ): +0.5%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, were firmer. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.3% near 52 week highs.

U.S. stocks have recovered some ground as investors come to terms with Russian President Vladimir Putin's comment that Russia will support Syria should it face military action. Earlier, the U.S. Labor Department said 169,000 new jobs were created in August, trailing estimates for a 175,000 gain. Also in economic news, June and July hiring were revised downward, indicating a slow-down in the jobs market. The jobless rate declined 0.1% to 7.3% although that was primarily due to more job-seekers leaving the marketplace. Some analysts believe the less than stellar economic data will stop the Fed from beginning to reduce asset purchases in September.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 0.3%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 1.1%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 1.1%.

Among financial stocks, Iberiabank (IBKC) was up 1.2% after today saying it has acquired certain assets and assumed selected liabilities in Memphis, Tenn., of Trust One Bank, a division of Synovus Financial (SNV). The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year. SNV was flat.

Technology -

Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was up 0.20%. 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 higher.

Semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) were a little weaker. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was up 1%, trading at the higher end of its 52-week range.

In sector news, Ambarella (AMBA) was up 11.8% but off day highs after reporting Q2 earnings of $0.26 per share, beating the Capital IQ consensus of $0.19. Revenues were $37.7 million, also topping analyst estimates looking for $35.99 million. During the same period last year, the company reported EPS of $0.23 on revenues of $28 million.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.6%, and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was also up 0.6%. Both funds were just below their 52-week highs.

In sector news, Gastar Exploration Limited (GST) was up 7.4%, near a 52-week high, after the company disclosed in a regulatory filing that its subsidiary, Gastar Exploration USA, will acquire from Lime Rock Resources II-A, L.P. and Lime Rock Resources II-C, L.P, a 98.3% working interest in 24,000 net acres of the West Edmund Hunton Lime Unit, for $187.5 million. The properties are located in Kingfisher, Logan, Oklahoma and Canadian Counties, Oklahoma. The effective date for the acquisition is Aug. 1, 2013.

Commodities -

Crude was up 1.50%, and United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 1.47%.

Natural gas was down 1.23%, and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 1.06%.

Gold was up 1.05%, off session lows, and the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 1.36%. Silver was up 2.58%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 2.64%.

Healthcare -

Health Care SPDR (XLV) was up 0.38%; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were both trading at the higher end of their 52-week ranges. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB), was up 0.21%, off the 52-week high of $202.91.

In corporate news, Atossa Genetics (ATOS) was up 6% but off day highs after the company said this morning it will showcase its ForeCYTE Breast Health Test at the 7th annual Breast Cancer Symposium, which begins on Saturday. The test detects reversible precancerous conditions in the breast up to eight years before they become cancer. It uses no radiation and does not require invasive biopsy needles or surgical incisions.

Power Play -

Consumer -

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was up 0.53%. Among other consumer ETFs, iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) were firmer.

In sector news, Mattress Firm Holding Corp (MFRM) was down near 17% after the company's Q2 results missed consensus forecasts and it reduced its full-year outlook. The company reported Q2 adjusted EPS of $0.43 versus consensus estimate of $0.51 on Capital IQ. Net sales were $302.5 million, compared to the $323 million that analysts expected. Comparable-store sales declined 0.3%. For the full-year, the company sees adjusted EPS of $1.75 to $1.83 (previously $1.90 to $1.98) and net sales of $1.194 to $1.207 billion (previously $1.237 to $1.250 billion). Analysts are expecting EPS of $1.96 and net sales of $1.2 billion.

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 , IWM , SPY , VXX , XLF

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