Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Surge Despite Bearish Bullard Comments; Investors Look Ahead to Dudley, Bernanke Speech

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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.16%, near its 52-week high

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): -0.07%

Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): +0.43%, with a new 52-week high

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ( VXX ) -0.49%

iShares Silver Trust ( SLV ): -2.06%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, reversed earlier losses, and were ticking higher at mid-day, nearing or reaching new 52-week highs. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.16%.

U.S. stocks turned positive in the session's half, following the bearish comments from St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who said in his speech that the U.S. recovery has been slower than expected and that the Fed's quantitative easing is the most reliable tool available given already low interest rates. Investors are now awaiting New York Fed President William Dudley's speech later today at 1 pm ET, as well as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony on Wednesday in front of Congress. The Street will also be focusing on the Federal Open Market Committee, which will release its meeting minutes also on Wednesday.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 0.43%, with a new 52-week high of $20.13. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 1.29%, hitting a new 52-week high of $71.55. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 1.23%, with a new 52-week low of $31.14.

Among financial stocks, JPMorgan (JPM) was up 2.20% and earlier hit a new 52-week high of $53.67 following a report on NYT that the vote to split the role of chairman and CEO at the bank failed. NYT cited sources who have already seen the tallies. If the result is true, Jamie Dimon will retain both roles, CEO and chairman.

Technology -

Tech ETFs are mostly lower: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), off 0.25%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), down 0.05%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), down 0.05%, but near its 52-week high; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV) is up 0.08%, also near its 52-week high.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 0.31%, with a new 52-week high of $54.36; Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) is down 0.09%.

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

In sector news, Clearwire (CLWR) was up 4.91%, nearing its 52-week high, after the company said it received an offer of $3.40 per share from Sprint (S) to acquire the nearly 50% stake in the company that it does not currently own. S shares are up 1.12%, also reaching a new 52-week high of $7.40.

Industrial -

Industrial ETFs were in positive territory at mid-day: Vanguard Industrials (VIS), off 0.02%, but touched a new 52-week high of $84.53; iShares Trust Dow Jones U.S. Industrial Sector Index Fund (IYJ), up 0.21%, with a new 52-week high of $86.58; and Select Sector SPDR-Industrial (XLI), up 0.18%, with a new 52-week high of $44.51.

In sector news, Embraer (ERJ) was up 2.61%, with a new 52-week high of $38.40, while SkyWest (SKYW) was up 0.42%, after the two companies announced a firm order for 40 EMBRAER 175 aircraft. In addition, another 60 firm orders were reconfirmable aircraft, subject to SkyWest being awarded CPA agreement contracts with major U.S. airline partners. Embraer said that if all 100 firm orders are exercised, the order has an estimated value of $4.1 billion at current list prices.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.23%, hitting a new 52-week high of $47.53; Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.25%, also with a new 52-week high of $83.66.

In sector news, Laredo Petroleum (LPI) was up 6.16% after it aid earlier that it sold its interests in properties and assets in the Anadarko Basin to various affiliates of EnerVest, Ltd. Under the agreement signed by the two companies, which has an effective date of April 1, 2013, EnerVest will acquire about 104,000 net acres of leasehold held by LPI in the Anadarko Basin of Western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle and associated infrastructure. At closing, EnerVest will pay $438 million in cash to Laredo, before normal closing adjustments.

Commodities -

Crude was down 0.48%; natural gas was up 1.69%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.46%, United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 2.04%.

Gold was down 0.47% and silver was down 0.36%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 1.29%; Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) was down 1.39%. iShares Silver Trust ( SLV ) was down 2.20%.

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs were trading at the higher end of their 52-week ranges: Health Care SPDR (XLV), up 0.49%; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), up 0.33%; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), up 0.40%. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was also firmer, up 0.40%.

In corporate news, Medtronic (MDT) was up 4.99%, touching a new 52-week high of $53.83, after reporting Q4 adjusted EPS of $1.10, vs. the analyst consensus of $1.03 per share on Capital IQ. Revenue was $4.46 bln, vs. expectations of $4.38 bln. For FY 2014, the company expects EPS of $3.80 to $3.85 and revenue growth of 3% to 4% on a constant currency basis. The Street view is $4.01 per share for earnings.

Power Play -

Consumer -

Consumer ETFs are mostly lower: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.05%; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), down 0.14%; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), down 0.11%.

In sector news, Monro Muffler Brake (MNRO) was up 5.15%, earlier jumping to a new 52-week high of $50.22. The company reported Q4 earnings of $0.25 per share, in line with the Capital IQ consensus of $0.25. Revenues were $195.9 million, versus the analyst estimate of $190.43 million. Adjusted for days, comparable store sales for the quarter decreased 5.6%; on a reported basis, comparable store sales decreased 11.4%.

The company projects Q1 EPS of $0.42 - $0.46 versus the Street view of $0.48 EPS. Comparable store sales are anticipated to increase 3% - 4%. MNRO also expects FY14 EPS of $1.65 - $1.80 on revenues of $840 million - $865 million. The Street view is EPS of $1.78 on revenues of $864.57 million. Comparable store sales are anticipated to increase 2.5% - 4.5%.

In a separate announcement, the company's board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.11 per share payable to shareholders of record on May 31 payable on June 11. This is a 10% increase in the last quarterly dividend of $0.10.



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 , SLV , SPY , VXX , XLF

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