Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Stumble as Markets Grapple with Poor U.S. Economic Data, Fiscal Cliff Fears, and EU Double-Dip Talk

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Active broad-market exchange-traded funds:

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.3%

iShares MSCI Japan Index ( EWJ ): +1.5%


Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): +0.1%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +0.05%

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): -1%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, are mixed. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) is down 0.22%.

U.S. stocks continue to be battered, with downbeat economic data and fiscal cliff fears weighing down on market sentiment. Earlier, the Labor Department reported that due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy, weekly jobless claims rose to an 18-month high, with continuing claims also increasing. Additionally, consumer prices rose in October, and the Empire State and Philadelphia manufacturing gauges posted negative readings, also affected by Sandy. Investors are now fretting over the latest blow to global growth, the Euro-zone slipping back into recession in the third quarter, as the region's debt crisis drags on.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) is up 0.1%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is up 0.25%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is down 0.15%.

Among financial stocks, Bluegreen Corp (BXG) is up 54.69% after climbing to new 52-week highs. Earlier, BFC Financial (BFCF) terminated the companies' prior merger agreement and will instead pay $10 a share in cash to acquire all BXG shares it doesn't already own.

Technology -

Tech ETFs are lower in mid-day trading: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), down 0.65%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), down 0.4%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), down 0.46%; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), down 0.02%.

Semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is down 1.6% at year low levels; Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) is down 1%.

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

In sector news, Velti (VELT) has lost a third of its value and hit a new year low after the company reported late Wednesday a Q3 loss of $0.03 per share, missing the Capital IQ consensus estimate of $0.03 EPS. Revenues of $62.4 mln fell in line with the consensus of $62.04 mln. The company projects Q4 revenues of $97.1 - $113.1 mln, below the Street view of $121.17 mln. FY12 revenues are expected to be $270 mln - $286 mln, versus the consensus of $293.71 mln.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is down 0.15%. Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) is down 0.1%.

In sector news, BP (BP) is up 0.3% as it reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice for $4 billion to end all criminal charges relating to the worst U.S. oil spill.

Commodities -

Crude was down 1.60%; likewise, natural gas was down 0.23%. United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 1.5%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) is up 0.05%.

Gold was down 0.97% and silver was down 1.31%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.6%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 0.13%.

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs are in the red in mid-day trading: Health Care SPDR (XLV), down 0.4%; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), down 0.6%; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), down 0.3%. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) is down 1.4%.

In corporate news, Tranzyme (TZYM) continues to crater, now down 75%, with a fresh year low of $0.95. The company reported that the first of two Phase 2b trials assessing the safety and efficacy of its oral ghrelin agonist, TZP-102 in diabetic patients with gastroparesis, did not meet its primary endpoint. Based on the initial analysis of top-line results, there was no statistical difference in the reduction in the severity of patients' gastroparesis symptoms, in both the 10 mg dose group and the 20 mg dose group versus placebo. TZYM also saw two downgrades - shares were downgraded to Market Perform at JMP Securities, and to Hold at Stifel Nicolaus.

Power Play -

Retail -

Retail ETFs are weaker: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), now slightly higher; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), down 0.86%; and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), down 0.7%, but earlier touched a new year high of $43.21.

Among stocks, E Commerce China Dangdang Inc. (DANG) is up 13.32% after it announced today that in Q3 it pulled in net revenues of RMB 1,287.6 million ($204.9 million), a 41.7% increase from the corresponding period in 2011. DANG also reported that for Q4 it expects total net revenues to be around RMB 1,610 million. According to Thomson Reuters' I/B/E/S Estimates, analysts are expecting the company to report revenue of RMB 1,614 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 , EWJ , IWM , SPY , XLF

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As of 12/22/2014, 02:40 PM


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