Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Turn Negative as Weak Housing Starts Data Weigh on Sentiment


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Active broad-market exchange-traded funds at Wednesday's regular session:

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.09%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): -0.31%.

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): -0.20%

PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): -0.48%

Select Sector SPDR Fund - Financial ( XLF ): -0.42%

Broad Market Indicators

Most broad market exchange-traded funds were lower. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was down 0.48%, but still near its 13-year high.

U.S. stocks were mostly lower, reversing earlier gains as investors digest the report that construction on new homes in the U.S. fell 16% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 880,000 - missing forecasts. The weak housing data overshadowed earnings and M&A news, which had earlier lifted market sentiment. U.S. producer prices rose in January, according to the government's new formula for measuring wholesale inflation.

Power Play: Healthcare

Health care funds are outpacing the broader market at session's half. Health Care SPDR (XLV), Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) all reached record highs. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) also touched an all-time high.

In corporate news, Chelsea Therapeutics International (CHTP) continued to soar and was up some 29%, reaching a three-year high, after the pharmaceutical company received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its NORTHERA treatment for symptomatic neurogenic orthostatic hypotension. Symptomatic NOH is an autonomic nervous system disorder caused by failure to produce and or release adequate amounts of norepinephrine upon standing. Norepinephrine deficiency results in an inability for a person to maintain adequate blood pressure and blood flow to the brain.

Winners and Losers


Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was off 0.42%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) edged lower 0.03%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 0.05%.

Among financial stocks, Eaton Vance (EV) was up nearly 2% after it reported adjusted earnings per diluted share of $0.58 for Q1 2014, an increase of 16% over the $0.50 of adjusted earnings per diluted share in Q1 2013, but below the $0.59 per share expected by analysts, according to Capital IQ. Q1 revenue was $360 million, up from $318 million a year prior, but short of the $368 million the Street expected.


Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) and iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW) reached their highest levels in nearly 13 years while iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM) and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV) both hit all-time highs. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was up 1.8%.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) also hit record highs.

In stocks news, Ultra Clean Holdings (UCTT) was up almost 11% and reached a 6-year high after it reported late Tuesday Q4 sales of $126.3 million, beating the Thomson Reuters mean estimate for $125.68 million. Less items, EPS were $0.26, above forecasts for $0.23.


Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.86%, and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.98%.

In corporate news, Nabors Industries (NBR) climbed some 12% and hit a two-year high after it reported late Tuesday Q4 net income from continuing operations was $0.42 per diluted share and revenue was $1.6 billion. The Street consensus, if comparable, was for $0.20 per share on $1.5 billion in revenue, according to Capital IQ estimates.


Crude was up 0.53%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.33%. Natural gas was up 2.55% and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 3.2%.

Gold was down 0.4% and silver was down 0.26%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.19%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.57%.


Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) were mixed.

In stocks news, Dorman Products (DORM) was up more than 9% after the company reported Q4 net income rose to $20.6 million, or $0.56 per share, from $15.3 million, or $0.42 per share. Analysts polled by Capital IQ were looking for $0.54 per share. Net sales climbed 26% to $169.8 million, topping analysts' mean estimate of $162 million.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities
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