Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Reverse Losses Following Disappointing NEw Homes Sales Data; Fed's Jackson Hole Conference Still in Focus


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

SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust ( SPY ): +0.15%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +0.9%

Market Vectors Gold Miners ( GDX ): +2.4%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ( VXX ): -1.3%, nearer 52 week lows

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ): -0.22%, but near 52-week highs

Broad Market Indicators

Many broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, are higher. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) has turned positive and is now up 0.6%, nearer 52 week highs.

U.S. stocks edged higher, recovering from earlier weakness, lifted by Microsoft (MSFT) on news its CEO Steve Ballmer will retire. Earlier, disappointing housing data weighed on stocks, with the Department of Commerce reporting that sales of new homes in July declined 13.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 394,000 - the lowest rate since October. Investors are still focused on the Federal Reserve's Jackson Hole conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming - with investors looking for clues as to who will replace Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. The top candidates for the post are Larry Summers and Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 0.2% from near 52 week highs. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 0.35%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 0.23%.

Among financial stocks, DFC Global (DLLR) has tumbled 27% to new 52-week lows after it reported late Thursday Q4 pro forma EPS of $0.49, beating the Capital IQ consensus estimate of $0.47. Revenues of $269.1 million however, missed the consensus of $283.08 million. The company projects adjusted EBITDA of between $200 million and $240 million.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.6% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.65%.

In sector news, Penn West Petroleum (PWE) is up 1.6% after it said late Thursday that it will further reduce its workforce to less than 1,600 full time equivalent employees as part of its ongoing process to improve competitive performance. It expects to record a charge related to employee separations of approximately $25 million in Q3 2013.

Commodities -

Crude was up 1.67%, while United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 1.5% and nearer 52 week highs. Natural gas was down 1.33% and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 1.1%.

Gold was up 1.86% and SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 1.5%; silver prices were up 3.08% while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 2.7%.

Consumer -

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was up 0.4%; other consumer ETFs iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) were slightly lower and slightly higher respectively.

Retail ETFs were weaker in mid-day action: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), down 0.5%; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), down 0.4%; and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), now down 0.2%, having earlier hit a new year high of $53.82.

In sector news, Hibbet Sports (HIBB) was down 9.7% after it said its Q2 earnings rose to $0.40 per share from $0.30 the year earlier, coming in slightly ahead of the $0.38 average Capital IQ estimate. Net sales increased 12.6% to $186.2 million, in line with the $186 million estimate. Same store sales rose 0.3% in the comparable 13-week period, or by 4.8% in the fiscal Q2. HIBB revised its guidance for the 52 weeks ending Feb. 1, 2014, to EPS between $2.65 and $2.77 from previously $2.85 to $3.05. The consensus estimate is at $2.93. The company expects an increase in comparable store sales - on a calendar basis - in the low single-digit range from previously expecting a low to mid single digit increase.

Healthcare -

Health Care SPDR (XLV) was flat; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were both weaker. And Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down 0.4%.

In corporate news, ChemoCentryx (CCXI) was down over 30%, plunging to new 52-week lows after the drug-maker said its vercinon drug candidate failed to meet its primary endpoints in the first of four Phase III trials of the prospective treatment for Crohn's disease.

Power Play -

Technology -

Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was up 0.7%, near its 52-week high. iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW) and iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM) and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV) were also all higher.

Semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was slightly down and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) slightly higher.

SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was flat.

In sector news, autodesk Inc. (ADSK) was up 10% with a new 52-week high, reversing losses in Thursday's late trade. The company posted strong Q2 non-GAAP earnings of $0.45 per share, down from a $0.48 gain in the year-ago quarter but still beating the Capital IQ consensus by $0.03 per share. Revenue declined 1% year over year to $562 million, but also topped analyst projections by $1.44 million. It projected Q3 earnings of $0.36 - $0.40 per share, below the Capital IQ consensus by at least $0.10 per share. Revenue is expected to be in a range of $540 million - $555 million, trailing the Street view by at least $25.92 million.

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 , GDX , SPY , VXX , XLF

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