Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs Track Stocks Higher as Americans Vote

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Active broad-market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +1%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +1%

iShares MSCI Japan Index ( EWJ ): +0.3%

PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): +0.5%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM ETN ( VXX ): -3.7%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, are mostly firmer. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) is up 0.5%.

U.S. stocks have extended their gains into the session's half as Americans troop to the polls to either re-elect Barack Obama for a second term or choose challenger Mitt Romney as the next U.S. president. The outcome of the presidential race is expected later today or early tomorrow morning. But some pundits are already reminding everyone that whoever wins faces a serious challenge in dealing with the looming so-called 'fiscal cliff' - the $600 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts that could take effect next year. Despite this, investors remain hopeful that the economy will expand, albeit slowly, in 2013. Earnings continue to be in focus, with EnerNOC (ENOC), Weight Watchers (WTW) and Fabrinet (FN) as the top post-earnings gainers.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) is up 1.1%, nearing its new year high. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is up 3%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is down 2.8%.

Among financial stocks, Nationstar Mortgage (NSM) is down 6.8%. The residential mortgage services provider reported Q3 GAAP earnings of $0.61 per share and adjusted EPS of $0.64. Revenues were $277.2 mln, versus the analyst estimate of $276.6 mln.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is up 1.5%; Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) is up 1.7%.

In sector news, EOG Resources (EOG) is up 4.3% and jumped to a new year high of $124.49 after reporting late Monday Q3 EPS of $1.73, ex one-time items, better than the Capital IQ consensus of $1.12. Revenues were $2.95 bln, above the consensus of $2.77 bln.

Commodities -

Crude was up 1.98%; natural gas was up 0.68%. United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 2.7%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) is up 0.1%.

Gold was up 1.78%; silver was up 2.83%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 1.9%; and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 3%.

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs are now in positive territory: Health Care SPDR (XLV), is up 0.6%; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), up 0.4%; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), up 0.2%. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) is up 0.3%.

In corporate news, VIVUS (VVUS) is down 22% and has touched a day low $11 after earlier reporting Q3 net loss of $0.40 per share, vs. a year ago loss of $0.10 per share. Revenue was $41,000, up from zero last year. Analysts polled by Capital IQ were expecting a loss per share of $0.34 and revenues of $35,000.

Consumer -

Consumer ETFs are higher: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.9%; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), up 1.24%; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up 0.8%.

Retail ETFs are firmer: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), up 1.4%; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), up 0.8%; and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), up 0.7%, with a new year high of $44.99.

In sector news, Vitamin Shoppe (VSI) is up around 14% and near year highs after it earlier posted Q3 earnings of $0.54 per share, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.46. Revenues were $239 mln, versus the analyst estimate of $234.66 mln. The company also posted a 9.6% increase in comparable store sales for the quarter. For FY12, VSI plans to open 52 new stores and sees comp store sales growth of 8%. Looking ahead to FY13, the company plans to open 57 new stores and expects comp store sales growth in mid-single digits.

Power Play -

Technology -

Tech ETFs are higher at mid-day: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), up 0.8%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), up 0.9%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), up 0.8%; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), up 1.2%.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is up 1.57% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) is up 1.4%.

SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is down 0.12%.

In sector news, THQ (THQI) is down near 50% and sank to a new year low of $1.55 a share after it said Monday that it will delay the release of its South Park game and two other key titles. As a result the company now needs to raise capital to preserve its ability to develop games and refinance $100 mln of convertible debt. The company has engaged Centerview Partners LLC to assist in evaluating strategic and financing alternatives. THQI also suspended net sales and earnings guidance, and withdrawn its previous guidance for fiscal 2013. The company posted Q2 loss of $1.76 per share, narrower than the Thomson Reuters consensus of $3.47 loss per share. Sales were $91.8 mln, also better than the Street view of $84.26.



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 , EWJ , QQQ , SPY , VXX

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