Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Reverse Into Negative Territory as Cyprus Uncertainties Offset Upbeat Housing Data

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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.56%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM ( VXX ): +4.08%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): -0.98%

ProShares Trust II ( UVXY ): +7.74%

Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): -0.66%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, were lower. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was down 0.61%.

U.S. stocks have reversed, with gains from modestly upbeat housing data withering as Cyprus' finance minister reportedly resigned from his position, amid concerns over a bailout for the country, which includes a controversial tax on bank deposits.

Earlier, market sentiment was cautiously optimistic following the report that U.S. housing starts for February showed an increase of 0.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 917,000, above the consensus estimate of 910,000, according to Briefing.com. Building permits for the month also grew to 946,00, topping the expected increase to 925,000. Investors are now looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's policy statement, to be released Wednesday 2 pm ET, following a two-day interest-rate meeting.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) slipped down 0.66%, but was near its 52-week high. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 1.26%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 1.23%.

Among financial stocks, Bank of America (BAC) added 0.86% and touched a new 52-week high of $12.94 after Meredith Whitney reportedly said on CNBC the shares could touch $15 in the near-term and trade close to $20 in 18 months. The investment guru said she's never been this bullish on U.S. equities in her career, according to reports.

Technology -

Tech ETFs weakened at mid-day: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), down 0.46%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), down 0.61%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), down 0.47%; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), down 1.21%.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 0.56% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down 0.57%.

SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was up 0.36%.

In sector news, Lattice Semiconductor (LSCC) ticked higher, up 6.92% after it said revenue for the first quarter 2013 is now expected to increase approximately 6% to 8% on a sequential basis. This compares to prior guidance that revenue was expected to decline approximately 2% to 4% on a sequential basis. Gross margin percentage is now expected to be at the lower end of the company's prior guidance of approximately 54% plus or minus 2%.

Industrial -

Industrial ETFs are lower, but near their 52-week highs: Vanguard Industrials (VIS), down 0.43%; iShares Trust Dow Jones U.S. Industrial Sector Index Fund (IYJ), down 0.29%; and Select Sector SPDR-Industrial (XLI), down 0.19%.

Among stocks, WSI Industries, Inc. (WSCI) tumbled 23.51%, nearing its 52-week low, after it earlier reported second quarter 2013 net income of $56,000, or $0.02 per diluted share, on revenues of $7.2 million. Year-ago net income was $171,000, or $0.06 per diluted share, on revenues of $7.0 million. The company's Board of Directors has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.04 per share. The dividend will be payable April 16, 2013 to holders of record on April 2, 2013.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) were in the red in mid-day action, down 1.35% and 1.36%, respectively.

In sector news, Acorn Energy (ACFN) slipped 3.69%, touching a new 52-week low of $6.16, after it reported late Monday a Q4 loss of $0.30 per share, worse than the Capital IQ consensus of $0.22 loss per share. Revenues were $4.8 mln, missing the analyst estimate of $5.82 mln. In the same period last year, the company reported a loss per share of $0.06 on revenues of $6.7 mln.

Commodities -

Crude was lower, down 0.83%; natural gas was up 1.43%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.71%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 1.51%.

Gold was up 0.48% and silver was up 0.32%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.53%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.25%

Consumer -

Consumer ETFs were higher: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.34%; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), up 0.10%; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up 0.21%.

Retail ETFs were mostly weaker, but near their 52-week highs: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), down 1.46%; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), up 0.70%; and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), down 0.33% but touched a new 52-week high of $47.90.

In sector news, Lululemon (LULU) was down 5.3%, trimming earlier losses of some 8%, after it said that it expects a shortage in its supply of black Luon pants and crops due to technical issues. The company said that certain shipments of product received from its factories do not meet technical specifications. While the ingredients, weight and longevity qualities of the pants remain the same, the company said that "the coverage does not", resulting in "a level of sheerness in some of our women's black Luon bottoms that falls short of our very high standards."

Over the weekend, Lululemon pulled all of the affected black Luon women's bottoms from stores, showrooms and the e-commerce site. As a result, it is revising Q1 revenue guidance to a range of $333 million to $343 million from a range of $350 million to $355 million. The Street is at $353.66 million.

Power Play -

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs slipped into the negative territory: Health Care SPDR (XLV), down 0.27%; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), 0.10%; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), down 0.22%. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was off 0.20%.

In corporate news, Affymax, Inc. (AFFY) continued to tumble, down 63.36% at last check, after the company said late Monday it is cutting 75% of its workforce and considering its strategic options following drug-linked deaths. The firm set the stock's price target at $0.50 a share.



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.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: EEM , SPY , UVXY , VXX , XLF

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