Mid-Day ETF Update: Lower as Stocks Slip on Weaker-than-Expected Rise in Feb Factory Orders

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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.45%

Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): -0.88%

PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): -0.15%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ( VXX ): 1.73%

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): -0.16%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, are lower. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) is down 0.15%.

U.S. stocks are mostly lower in the session's half, after it was reported that factory orders in February rose 1.3%, but missed the 1.5% expected growth from a MarketWatch poll. The automotive sector is showing gains as auto sales figures come in, pointing to a recovery in the auto industry. Investors are still awaiting minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting, 2 pm EST.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) is down 0.88% in mid-day trading. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is down 2.08%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is up 1.98%.

Among actives: Bank of America (BAC) is down 1.7%, Goldman Sachs (GS) is down 1.79%, Morgan Stanley (MS) is down 1.72%, Citigroup (C) is down 1.55%.

CME Group (CME) is down 1.52% after it said that it acquired a 100% equity interest in GreenX Holdings LLC, the parent company of Green Exchange LLC, for an undisclosed sum. GreenX is one of the largest carbon exchanges in the world.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY) is down 2.8% in mid-day action. The company will buy the 50% stake in RBC Dexia Investor Services that it doesn't already own from partner Banque International for C$1.1billion ($1.11 billion). The bank expects the deal will add to its earnings in 2013.

Technology -

Among tech actives: Apple (AAPL) is up 1.2%; Microsoft (MSFT) is down 1.38%; Intel (INTC) is down 0.57%; Google (GOOG) is down 1.17%; Cisco (CSCO) is down 1.94%; Yahoo (YHOO) is down 1.59%.

Apple (AAPL) is off the new 52-week high of $632.21 after an analyst at Piper Jaffray noted that its price could surge to $1,000 and raised the price target to $910 from $718.

Pandora (P) is up 2.96% after it was initiated with an Outperform at JMP Securities with a price target of $14.

Cavium (CAVM) is up 3.29%, reversing earlier losses of some 1%, after the company warned late yesterday that Q1 results will be lower than its previous targets. The company is forecasting revenue to be about 6% to 7% lower than in Q4. EPS is expected to be lower than the previous forecast of EPS of $0.06 to $0.07. Q1 results will be released on May 1, 2012. Analysts have Cavium weighing in with EPS of $0.07 and revenue of $56.47 mln for Q1.

Guidewire (GWRE) is down 5.07% following a Dow Jones Newswire report that the company filed to sell up to 400,000 shares.

In the ETF space, iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW) is down 0.46%; Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) is down 0.30%; and iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM) is down 0.17%. iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV) is down 0.45%.

SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is down 1.34% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) is down 1.19%.

SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is flat.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is down 1.07%. Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) is down 1.15% in mid-day action.

CVR Energy (CVI) is up 5.5.66%, paring down earlier gains of more than 6% after Carl Icahn received 55% of outstanding shares tendered to him in his proxy fight with the company. The stake effectively gives him control of nearly 70% of the company, according to the WSJ.

Commodities -

Crude is down 0.49% at $104.70 a barrel. United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 0.72% at 39.75.

Gold is down $3.20 at $1,676.50 an ounce. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.3% at 162.44. Silver is up 0.14% at $33.15 a pound. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 0.03% at 32.06.

Power Play

ETFs in the consumer discretionaries - automotive sector are seeing gains today and could gain more traction in the week ahead as automakers are set to report March sales numbers, with some companies already reporting today. According to a report on MarketWatch, companies may well see record-breaking sales for the month. Edmunds.com forecasts a 26% increase over the prior month and a 16.5% year-over-year increase in sales, while TrueCar.com sees a 23.3% sequential increase and a 13.7% year-over-year rise in new-vehicle sales, the report stated.

Chrysler U.S. has already reported March sales growth of 34% year-over-year or 163,381 units, the highest in four years. AutoNation (AN) is up 1.06% after it reported retail new vehicle unit sales grew 15% year-over-year for Q1 and increased 15% year-over-year for a total of 25,489 in March.

Ford Motor (F) is up 0.32% after reporting that U.S. March sales increased 5% year-over-year with 223,418 vehicles sold, its best sales figure in five years. Retail sales increased 11% for the month. For Q1, sales were up 9% versus year ago sales, totaling 539,247 vehicles sold.

General Motors (GM) is down 3.89%. The company reported total U.S. March sales of 231,052 vehicles, up 12% year over year, but missing the Wall Street estimate of 20.6% growth. The company's retail deliveries increased 14% compared with March 2011.

Toyota Motor's (TM) vehicle sales for March rose of 15.4%, after selling more than 200,000 vehicles for the first time since 2008, according to a report on CNBC. TM shares are down 0.51%.

Among ETFs, Consumer Discretionary SPDR (XLY) is up 0.13%; Dow Jones U.S. Consumer Goods Index (IYK) is down 0.11%; Consumer Discretion ETF (VCR) is up 0.04%; Global X Auto ETF (VROM) is up 1.24%; and NASDAQ Global Auto Index Fund (CARZ)is up 0.03%.



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: IWM , QQQ , SPY , VXX , XLF

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