Active broad-market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:
SPDR S&P 500 (
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM (
Financial Select Sector SPDR (
): +0.2%, near 52 week highs.
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (
ProShares Trust II (
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and
others, continue to log mild gains. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ
(QQQ) is down 0.15%.
U.S. stocks are extending their gains into the second half, but
have trimmed some following Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's
testimony in front of Congress. Market sentiment saw a slight
uptick based on Bernanke's comments regarding continued QE or
quantitative easing. But the Fed Chair also warned that the U.S.
economy would suffer if no compromise is reached regarding the
automatic federal budget reductions. Investors noted the
inconclusive Italian elections but instead really focused on
economic data: January New Home Sales surged 15.6% to an annual
rate of 437,000, beating forecasts; the February consumer
confidence index also grew, now up 69.6 - the highest level in 3
months. Earlier, the December Case-Shiller 20-city Index was
reported to have grown 6.8%, above the forecasts of 6.5% growth,
according to Briefing.com, while the December FHA Housing Price
Index remained flat at a 0.6% growth.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (
) is up 0.1% and nearer 52 week highs. Direxion Daily Financial
Bull 3X shares (FAS) is up 0.6%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is
Among financial stocks, Infinity Property and Casualty (IPCC) is
up 2% after it reported a Q4 GAAP EPS of $0.67, above the Capital
IQ GAAP estimates of $0.24 EPS, if comparable. In the same period
last year, the company posted $1.49 EPS. Revenues grew 18.1% to
$342.5 mln from $290 mln in the previous year's quarter. This is
above the forecasts of $318.79 mln. The company sees FY13 EPS of
$2.90 - $3.40, versus the consensus of $2.76.
: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), up 0.14%; iShares Dow
Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), up 0.13%; iShares S&P North
American Technology ETF (IGM), recovered and now up 0.12%; and
iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV),
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is
down 0.02% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) is up
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is
In sector news, shares of Spreadtrum Communications (SPRD) has
lost earlier gains and is now down more than 3%. The company posted
Q4 non-GAAP diluted EPS of $0.59 on revenue of $203.1 million. The
company had previously guided for revenue in the range of $189 -
$196 million. The Street was expecting EPS of $0.50 on revenue of
$196.33 million. The company says it sees Q1 revenue of $180
million to $186 million, which is ahead of the $171.56 million
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is up 0.8%; Energy Select
Sector SPDR (XLE) is up 0.8%.
Crude was down 0.72%; natural gas was down 1.14%. United States
Oil Fund (USO) is up 0.15%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) is
In sector news, Carrizo Oil & Gas (CRZO) is up 6% after it
reported Q4 earnings adjusted earnings of $0.46, versus the Capital
IQ consensus of $0.35. Revenues were $107.5 mln, versus the analyst
estimate of $105.74 mln. The company posted total production of
2,379 MBoe, or 25,859 Boe/d, with record oil production of 9,033
Bbls/d, and natural gas and NGL production of 100,924 Mcfe/d.
Healthcare ETFs are weaker or little changed, but still trading
in the upper end of their 52 week ranges: Health Care SPDR (XLV),
now back up 0.05%; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), now up 0.1%; and
iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), down 0.11%. Biotech ETF
iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) is down 0.24%.
In corporate news, MediciNova (MNOV) is now up more than 50%,
nearing its 52-week high, after it received Fast Track designation
from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for MN-166
(ibudilast) for the treatment of methamphetamine dependence.
Consumer ETFs are mixed: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR
(XLP), now up 0.05%; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK),
down 0.26% and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), down 0.07%.
Retail ETFs are mixed to lower: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), now
up 0.03%; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), now up 0.4%; and Market
Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), up 0.48% and has hit 52 week highs.
In sector news, Vitamin Shoppe (VSI) shares are down about 20%
as the company reports Q4 2012 adjusted net income of $0.40 per
share, up from $0.31 a year prior and on par with the $0.40 per
share analysts expected. Net sales in Q4 2012 were $218.9 million
compared to $214.9 million in the same period of the prior year,
and lower than the $223.9 million analysts had expected. The
company expects to open 50 new stores in the year ahead, when it
plans for $45 to $50 million in capital expenditures.
Power Play -
Goldman Sachs has reduced its forecasts for gold, saying the
precious metal's price cycle has turned due to the increasing
momentum in the U.S economy's recovery, according to a report on
Bloomberg. Bloomberg stated that Goldman Sachs slashed its
three-month target to $1,615 an ounce from $1,825. The firm also
lowered the six- and 12-month forecasts to $1,600 and $1,550 from
$1,805 and $1,800, respectively.The report also said that analysts
at Credit Suisse thought that gold's 12-year bull market has begun
Gold was up 1.59%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD)
is up 1.10%; iShares Gold Trust (IAU), up 1.16%, and PowerShares DB
Gold Fund (DGL), up 1.16%.