Active broad market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:
SPDR S&P 500 (
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM (
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (
Financial Select Sector SPDR (
ProShares Trust II (
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and
others, pared earlier losses but were still weaker. Actively traded
PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) inched up 0.02%.
U.S. stocks also regained most of their earlier losses but were
still in negative territory. Downbeat economic news also weighed on
stocks, with the NAHB Housing Market Index for March showing a
reading of 44, and missing economists' expectations of a reading of
46, according to Briefing.com.
Earlier, market sentiment took a beating, tracking European and
Asian markets lower, after Cyprus announced it will impose a levy
on bank deposits as part of a financial bailout. Voting regarding
the bailout and the bank levies was reportedly delayed for another
day, dampening sentiment further.
Winners and Losers
A number of Tech
inched up at mid-day: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), up
0.17%; and iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), up 0.35%. On
the other hand, iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM)
and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV)
were down 0.30% and 0.19%, respectively.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was
down 0.28% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) eased
In sector news, ChipMOS Technologies (IMOS) climbed 8.07%,
adding to earlier gains of some 4%, after reporting Q4 GAAP
earnings of $0.30 per share, versus the Capital IQ GAAP consensus
of $0.28. Revenues were $167.6 mln, versus the analyst estimate of
$168.25 mln. The company said that it expects revenue for Q1 FY13
to be lower sequentially by 9% to 13%.
Separately, the company's board of directors has approved a new
repurchase program of up to $7.5 million of the company's common
shares. The company expects the repurchase program to commence in
Q2 of 2013, with acquired shares being retired and cancelled. The
board also approved the listing of its subsidiary ChipMOS
TECHNOLOGIES INC., a Taiwan corporation, on Taiwan's Emerging Stock
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR
(XLE) were in the red in mid-day action, down 0.20% and 0.28%,
In sector news, Transocean (RIG) trimmed earlier losses and was
down 0.15% after it announced Monday that its board has reviewed
the proposals submitted by certain funds affiliated with Carl Icahn
for vote at its 2013 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders. Icahn
had proposed a dividend of $4.00 per share and nominated three
candidates for election to Transocean's board, as well as
submitting a proposal to repeal the company's staggered board
The board said it has determined that Icahn's dividend proposal
is in direct conflict with Transocean's capital allocation strategy
and that it believes the dividend proposed by Icahn would adversely
affect the company's ability to operate and compete effectively in
a cyclical and capital-intensive industry. The board urged company
shareholders to reject the activist investor's proposal.
Crude dipped lower, down 0.14%; natural gas was up 1.18%. United
States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.15%. United States Natural Gas Fund
(UNG) was up 1.51%.
Gold was up 0.80% and silver was up 0.10%. Among rare metal
funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.97%; iShares Silver Trust
(SLV) was up 0.68%.
Consumer ETFs have slipped into the redat mid-day: Consumer
Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), down 0.32%, but near the 52-week
high of $38.89; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), down
0.30%; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), down 0.31%.
In sector news, Fiesta Restaurant Group Inc. (FRGI) was down
2.84% after it announced the launch of a proposed secondary public
offering of 2.5 million shares of common stock. All shares will be
offered by funds managed by Jefferies Capital Partners. The selling
shareholders also granted the underwriters an option to purchase up
to an additional 375,000 shares of common stock.
Healthcare ETFs continued to weaken: Health Care SPDR (XLV),
down 0.20%; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), down 0.31%; and iShares
Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH); down 0.19%. Biotech ETF iShares
NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was also lower, off 0.44%.
In corporate news, Palomar Medical Technologies (PMTI) climbed
up 5.15%, but off the new 52-week high of $13.42, after it said it
signed an agreement to be acquired by Cynosure (CYNO) in a cash and
stock transaction valued at approximately $294 million. PMTI
shareholders will receive $13.65 per share of PMTI common stock:
$6.825 per share in cash and $6.825 per share in CYNO common stock
(subject to adjustment and collar provisions described in the
CYNO will issue about 5.2 million shares in the transaction. The
acquisition price of $13.65 represents a premium of 23% above
PMYI's average closing price and a premium of 34% over PMTI's
average enterprise value (excluding cash) since the announcement of
PMTI's 2012 year-end results on Feb. 7, 2013. The acquisition is
expected to be accretive to CYNO in 2014 with the implementation of
$8 mln - $10 mln in projected synergies. CYNO shares are down
Power Play -
Financial stocks and ETFs trimmed losses but stayed put in the
negative territory, bearing the brunt of the weakness from concerns
sparked by Cyprus' bailout news.
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (
) was down 0.89%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was
down 1.52%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 1.74%.
Among financial stocks, UBS (UBS) was down 1.4% after it agreed
to buy the municipal bond trustee business from Deutsche Bank AG
(DB), adding another $57 billion to the $3 trillion in assets now
under administration by USB's corporate-trust division. Financial
terms of the deal were not disclosed. DB shares were down
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