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 (
): +0.72%, near its 52-week high
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (
iShares MSCI Japan Index (
Broad Market Indicators
Broad market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and
others, continued to be modestly firmer. Actively traded
PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.64%.
U.S. stocks extended earlier gains, with the Dow inching above
its previous record closing top of 14,539.14, but has now pulled
back. Market sentiment was upbeat, shrugging off weakness from
concerns over the Cyprus bailout deal, as focus has shifted to the
closing of the Federal Reserve's two-day interest-rate meeting.
Investors are looking ahead to the Fed's policy statement and
outlook for the economy, to be released Wednesday 2 pm ET. The Fed
is not expected to ease up on its interest rate policy; economists
are also hopeful for a more optimistic outlook for the U.S. economy
in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
Winners and Losers
were in the green at mid-day: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF
(XLK), up 0.33%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), up
0.42%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), up
0.60%; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index
(IGV), up 0.84%.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was
up 1.04% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was
In sector news, Suntech Power (STP) was down 38.57% after a
Benzinga.com report, citing Xinhua, that the company declared
Industrial ETFs were in positive territory: Vanguard Industrials
(VIS), up 0.21%; and iShares Trust Dow Jones U.S. Industrial Sector
Index Fund (IYJ), up 0.13%, with a new 52-week high of $82.35.
Select Sector SPDR-Industrial (XLI) was flat.
Among stocks, Lennar (LEN) continued to gain, and was up 4.78%
mid-day after it reported Q1 earnings of $0.26 per share, versus
the Capital IQ consensus of $0.16. Revenues were $989.95 mln,
versus the analyst estimate of $932.99 mln.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.29% while Energy
Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.23%.
In sector news, Ivanhoe Energy (IVAN) jumped 12.68% after it
said it has signed a global strategic alliance with SBM Offshore,
an engineering and platform designs provider focusing on the
development of marginally economic offshore projects. Under the
partnership, the two companies will combine their respective
technologies and experience to produce a first of its kind design
for offshore facilities that will economically produce and upgrade
heavy oil from offshore fields with crude oil quality down to 10
degree API gravity, or lower.
Crude was up 0.25%; natural gas was down 0.48%. United States
Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.39%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG)
was down 0.32%.
Gold was down 0.33% and silver was down 0.27%. Among rare metal
funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.37%; iShares Silver Trust
(SLV) is down 0.25%.
Healthcare ETFs were firmer: Health Care SPDR (XLV), up 0.70%;
Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), up 0.82%; and iShares Dow Jones US
Healthcare (IYH), up 0.75%, with a new 52-week high of $94.52.
Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up
In corporate news, Obagi Medical (OMPI) climbed 28.01%, hitting
a new 52-week high of $19.27, after Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX)
said it has entered into a definitive agreement under which Valeant
will acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Obagi Medical
for $19.75 per share in cash, which represents a 28% premium to
Obagi's closing share price yesterday.
The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2013
and Valeant expects the transaction to be immediately accretive to
Valeant's cash earnings per share. The combination is expected to
yield cost synergies at an annual run rate of at least $40 million
within six months of closing. VRX shares were up 2.66%, with a new
52-week high of $74.67.
Consumer ETFs were higher at mid-day: Consumer Staples Select
Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.84%, with a new 52-week high of $39.04;
iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), up 0.75%; and Vanguard
Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up 0.95%, with a new 52-week high of
In sector news, The Hershey Co. (HSY) edged up 0.27%, hitting a
new 52-week high of $86.01, after the company's management
reaffirmed 2013 targets in a presentation to investors. The company
sees full-year diluted EPS of between $3.56 - $3.63. Analysts
polled by Capital IQ are expecting EPS of $3.63.
Power Play -
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (
) was up 0.72%, nearing its 52-week high. Direxion Daily Financial
Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 1.91%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is
down 1.86%, nearing its 52-week low.
Among financial stocks, Freddie Mac has sued Bank of America
(BAC), UBS AG (UBS), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and a dozen
other banks over alleged manipulation of the London interbank
offered rate, reports Bloomberg News. The suit says that the
mortgage financier suffered substantial losses as a result of the
According to the report, the complaint lists 15 banks as
defendants as well as the British Bankers' Association. They
include Citigroup Inc. (C), Barclays (BCS), Royal Bank of Scotland
Group Plc (RBS), the Royal Bank of Canada (RY), Deutsche Bank (DB)
and Credit Suisse Group AG. (CS).
Despite the lawsuit, active financial stocks were higher at
mid-day: BAC, was up 1.09% and neared its 52-week high; UBS, up
0.45%; JPM, up 0.16%; C, up 1.35%; RBS, up 2.48%; RY, up 0.51%; DB,
up 0.91%; CS, up 0.07%.
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