Active broad market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:
SPDR S&P 500 (
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM (
): +1.59%, but near its 52-week low
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, were in the red. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was
U.S. stocks continued to trade lower at session's half. Market
sentiment weakened further after disappointing housing data, with
pending home sales for February declining 0.4% - missing
expectations of a 2% increase. Earlier, stocks tracked European
markets lower, weighed by Italy, which released several
disappointing economic reports - new industrial orders, industrial
sales and retail sales data mostly missed expectations. Still
ahead, several "policy doves" from the Federal Reserve are expected
to speak later today.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (
) was down 0.63%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was
down 1.28%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 1.24%.
Among financial stocks, Eastern Virginia Bankshares (EVBS)
plunged 23.4% after it announced late Tuesday securities purchase
agreements with affiliates of Castle Creek Capital Partners and GCP
Capital Partners and certain other institutional investors.
EVBS expects to raise aggregate gross proceeds of $45 million
through private placements of approximately 4.6 million shares of
common stock and 5.2 million shares of a new series of non-voting
mandatorily convertible non-cumulative preferred stock, each at
$4.55 per share. It also plans to conduct a $5.0 million rights
offering to allow existing shareholders to purchase common stock at
the same purchase price per share as the investors in the private
placements. Separately, it says Q4 net income was $0.09 per share,
up from $0.04 a year ago.
were mostly in the red in mid-day action: Technology Select Sector
SPDR ETF (XLK), down 0.33%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF
(IYW), down 0.37%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF
(IGM), down 0.10%; and iShares S&P North American
Technology-Software Index (IGV) up 0.35%.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was
down 0.54% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was down
1.38%, touching a new 52-week low of $27.23.
In sector news, SAIC (SAI) reversed earlier weakness and was up
4.68% with a new 52-week high of $13.65%. The company reported late
Tuesday Q4 earnings of $0.54 per share, versus the Capital IQ
consensus of $0.48. Revenues were $2.71 bln, matching analysts'
estimates. For the same period last year, the company reported a
loss per share of $0.49 on revenues of $2.47 bln. The company
expects FY14 EPS of $1.16 - $1.33, on revenues of $10 bln - $10.7
bln. Analysts are looking for $1.27 EPS on revenues of $10.82
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.11% while Energy
Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.21%.
In sector news, Saratoga Resources (SARA) was down 2.97%, with a
new 52-week low of $2.60, after it earlier reported Q4 oil and gas
sales were $22.9 million, below the Thomson Reuters mean for $23.92
million. Net loss was $0.09 per share, down from a profit a year
ago. Estimates were for a $0.07 profit, if comparable.
Crude was down 0.2%; natural gas was up 2.388%. United States
Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.23%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG)
was up 2.23%.
Gold was up 0.51% and silver was down 0.42%. Among rare metal
funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.38%; iShares Silver Trust
(SLV) was down 0.4%.
Healthcare ETFs Health Care SPDR (XLV), up 0.15%, with a new
52-week high of $45.42; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), up 0.11%,
with a new 52-week high of $81.86; and iShares Dow Jones US
Healthcare (IYH), up 0.12%, with a new 52-week high of $95.22.
Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up
In corporate news, Aastrom Biosciences (ASTM) tumbled 37.12%,
sinking to a new 52-week low of $0.70, after it announced it was
cutting about half of its workforce and making a strategic change
in research and development programs, in a move which after a
trading halt sent its shares down 37% in premarket trade.
ASTM said as part of the strategic R&D change it would stop
the late-stage trial of its drug to treat critical limb ischemia.
Aastrom said it would focus on the clinical development of its lead
product, ixmyelocel-T, for the treatment of dilated
Consumer ETFs were mostly lower, but still traded in the high
end of their 52-week ranges: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR
(XLP), up 0.12%; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), down
0.35%; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), down 0.30%.
Retail ETFs were mixed: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), down 0.28%;
PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), flat; and Market Vectors Retail
ETF (RTH), up 0.12%, with a new 52-week high of $48.96.
In sector news, Dollar General Corp. (DG) was down 1.95% after
it earlier announced an underwritten secondary public offering of
30 million common shares. The shares are being sold by certain
existing shareholders. In connection with the offering, certain of
the selling shareholders have granted to the underwriters an option
to purchase up to 4.5 million additional shares.
Power Play -
Industrial ETFs were weaker: Vanguard Industrials (VIS), down
0.40%; iShares Trust Dow Jones U.S. Industrial Sector Index Fund
(IYJ), down 0.36%; and Select Sector SPDR-Industrial (XLI), down
In corporate news, Comstock Holding Companies Inc. (CHCI)
continued to surge, and was up 50.43% at last check, touching a new
52-week high of $1.96, after reporting fourth quarter net loss of
$2 million, or $0.10 per share, on total revenue of $2.6 million.
In the same period last year, net loss was $2.7 million, or $0.14
per share, on total revenue of $6.1 million. No analyst estimates
were available for comparison.
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