Mid-Day ETF Update: Stocks, ETFs Higher as Bernanke Warns Against Early Stimulus Removal

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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.65%

Select Financial Sector SPDRS ( XLF ): +1.09%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +0.33%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ( VXX ) -0.49%

iShares Silver Trust ( SLV ) +0.97%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, were firmer. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.39%.

U.S. stocks were higher at the mid-session after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated stimulus measures should stay in place, warning their early removal would endanger the economic recovery in testimony to Congress. Also helping sentiment was economic data showing existing home sales for April rose to their highest level in three years. Purchases of existing houses increased 0.6% to an annual rate of 4.97 million, the most since November 2009, the National Association of Realtors reported.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 1.1%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 3.1%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 2.9%.

Among financial stocks, S.Y. Bancorp, Inc. (SYBT), parent company of Stock Yards Bank & Trust Company, announced its board declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.20 per share. The dividend will be paid on July 1, to stockholders of record as of June 10. Separately, the company noted that the Wilmington Trust Company, trustee for the 10% fixed-rate cumulative trust preferred securities issued by S.Y. Bancorp Capital Trust II, will make a normal quarterly distribution on the trust preferred securities on or about June 30. The amount will be $0.25 on each $10 preferred security owned. The shares are up 1% at $24.48.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) were slightly firmer.

In sector news, KBR (KBR) said late yesterday that it has been awarded a contract by Pacific NorthWest LNG Ltd. to execute front-end engineering and design and early detailed engineering work for a world-scale LNG export facility near British Columbia. Terms were not disclosed. KBR is up 2.5% at $36.33 and earlier hit a year top of $36.42.

Commodities -

June crude was down 1.2%; July natural gas was down 0.33%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.34%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.22%.

June gold was down 0.2% and silver for July delivery was up 0.78%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.56%; iShares Silver Trust ( SLV ) was up 1.62%.

Consumer -

Consumer ETFs Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) were all showing modest gains.

In sector news, Zale (ZLC) shares were up 25% as it reports Q3 net earnings of $5 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, compared to a loss of $5 million in the prior year quarter. Revenues were $443 million compared to $445 million in Q3 2012. Analysts expected a loss of $0.01 per share on revenues of $440 million.

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs Health Care SPDR (XLV) was up 1.8%, Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) was up 1.5% and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) was up 1.7%. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) gained 2%.

In corporate news, Oncolytics Biotech (ONCY) was up 4.7% after it reported preliminary results from its U.S. Phase 2 clinical trial in patients with metastatic melanoma using intravenous administration of REOLYSIN in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel. The study was a two stage design. Up to 18 evaluable patients with metastatic melanoma were to be treated in the first stage. If three or more patients demonstrated a PR or better, the study could then proceed to the second stage, with up to 43 patients being treated in the entire study. This endpoint was met after 14 evaluable patients were enrolled. Three of 14 patients exhibited a PR, and an additional seven patients had SD for a disease control rate of 71.5%.

Technology -

Tech ETFs Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM) and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV) were modestly higher.

Semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 0.5% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) gained 0.6%.

SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was up 0.11%.

In sector news, Sony (SNE) recovered from early losses to trade slightly higher after it said that it expects to achieve its previously announced FY14 financial targets of sales of JPY 8.5 trillion, operating income margin of more than 5%, and return on equity of 10% for the Sony Group overall. Analysts on Capital IQ are expecting sales of JPY 7.43 trillion.

The company added that it is on track to bring its electronics business to profitability, expecting JPY 6 trillion in sales. The company also said that its board of directors is considering spinning off part of its entertainment business, as had been proposed by U.S. hedge fund ad top Sony investor, Third Point. But the company clarified that discussions related to the proposal were in the preliminary stages.



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.

Copyright (C) 2014 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.


This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: EEM , SLV , SPY , VXX , XLF

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