Active broad-market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:
SPDR S&P 500 (
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (
PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 (
Financial Select Sector SPDR (
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures (
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and
others, are mixed. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (
) is down 0.5%.
U.S. stocks have edged lower as U.S. budget talks aimed at
avoiding the tax hikes and spending cuts that would take effect in
January, remain deadlocked. Investors still believe that a
compromise could be reached, despite the slow progress in the
negotiations. Just yesterday, Republicans proposed a plan that
contained $800 billion in new tax revenue, which was rejected by
the White House, saying it offered nothing new. Meanwhile, a
bipartisan group of governors will meet with President Barack Obama
and congressional leaders today to learn more about reduced federal
spending on state budgets, and their subsequent impact, according
to a report on Reuters.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (
) is down 0.64%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is
down 1.5%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is up 1.68%.
Among financial stocks, New Mountain Finance Corp. (NMFC) is
down nearly 5% after launching an offering of three million shares,
with the ultimate objective of investing in portfolio companies and
paying down debt. The management-investment company recently had
about 20.7 million shares outstanding.
are weaker: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), down 0.58%;
iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), down 0.52%; iShares
S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), down 0.06%; and
iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV),
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is
down 0.16% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) is down
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is
In sector news, MetroPCS (PCS) is down more than 7% following
Reuters reports that Sprint (S) is unlikely to counter T-Mobile's
bid for the mobile carrier. The news service, citing sources it
didn't identify, said a bid for PCS would complicate the ongoing
regulatory review of a separate deal with Japan's Softbank Corp.
PCS shares climbed 5% last week after a Guggenheim Securities LLC
analyst said S might make a counteroffer for the company. Sprint is
Industrial ETFs are mildly higher: Vanguard Industrials (VIS),
up 0.03%; iShares Trust Dow Jones U.S. Industrial Sector Index Fund
(IYJ), up 0.04%; and Select Sector SPDR-Industrial (XLI), up
Among stocks, Toll Brothers (TOL) is up 0.8%, trimming earlier
gains of some 4%, after reporting Q4 EPS of $2.35, which includes
special items and may not be comparable to the Capital IQ consensus
estimate of $0.25. Revenues were 632.8 mln, beating the analyst
estimate of revenues of $565.87 mln.
Crude was down 0.76%; natural gas was down 1.31%. United States
Oil Fund (USO) is down 0.34%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG)
is down 1.32%.
Gold was down 1.39%, sinking below $1,700 but off day lows;
silver was also down 2.44%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust
(GLD) is down 1.18%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 2.27%.
Despite the declining price of gold, most ETF investors continue
to be bullish on gold looking ahead into 2013, according to a
report on MarketWatch. In the current uncertainty of the market,
investors are staying focused on the longer-term fundamentals of
gold, the report stated.
Consumer ETFs are lower: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR
(XLP), down 0.17%; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), down
0.56% from near 52 week highs; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF
(VDC), down 0.17%.
Retail ETFs are weaker: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), down 0.8%;
PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), down 0.3%; and Market Vectors
Retail ETF (RTH), down 0.47% but earlier touched a new year high of
In sector news, Big Lots (BIG) is up a lucky 13% after reporting
a Q3 loss of $0.03 per share, ex one-time items, versus the Capital
IQ consensus of a $0.24 loss per share. Revenues were $1.1 bln,
versus the analyst estimate of $1.14 bln. Comparable store sales
for U.S. stores decreased 4.6% for the quarter. The company expects
Q4 EPS of $1.91 - $2.10, assuming U.S. comparable store sales
decline in the range of low to mid single digits and a total U.S.
sales increase in the range of 3% to 7%. For FY12, the company
expects EPS of $2.86 - $3.05, assuming U.S. comparable store sales
decline in the low single digit range and a total U.S. sales
increase in the range of 1% to 3%. Analysts are looking for Q4 EPS
of $2.03 and FY12 EPS of $2.81.
Power Play -
Healthcare ETFs are modestly firmer: Health Care SPDR (XLV), up
0.2% to about $1 off 52 week highs; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT),
up 0.01%; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), up 0.23%.
Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB), on the other
hand, is down 0.23%.
In corporate news, Galena Biopharma, Inc. (GALE) is up nearly
12% at around $2.28 but off a day high $2.43 after it announced the
signing of an agreement with a subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceutical
Industries Limited for the commercialization of NeuVax
(nelipepimut-S or E75) in Israel. Under the agreement, Teva Israel
will assume responsibility for regulatory registration in Israel,
provide financial support for local development, and will
commercialize the product in the region. Specific financial terms
were not disclosed, but the agreement allows for significant
royalty payments to Galena Biopharma on future sales. TEVA shares
are up 1.36%.