Mid-Day ETF Update: Broad Market ETFs Show Modest Gains, Gold Funds Shine
Active broad market exchange-traded funds in Wednesday's regular session:
SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.32%
Select Financial Sector SPDRS ( XLF ): +0.65%
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +0.8%
iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund ( EWJ ) +0.5%
iPath S&P VIX Short Term Futures ( VXX ) +0.93%
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, were modestly higher at mid-day. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.45%.
U.S. indices were edging higher at the mid-session, following another record run in yesterday's session when the Dow industrials closed at 15,056.20 and the S&P 500 index closed at a record - its fourth straight session. Market sentiment saw a mild boost after China reported a surplus of $18.16 billion in April, beating economists' forecasts. China had reported a deficit in March. German industrial production also rose more than forecast, raising hopes the eurozone's biggest economy is gathering strength.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 0.73%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) has risen 1.80%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 1.68%.
Among financial stocks, Fifth Street Finance Corp. (FSC) was flat, recovering from sell off shortly after the open, after it said it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Healthcare Finance Group, LLC as a portfolio company.
Healthcare Finance is a specialty lender providing asset-based lending and term loan products to the healthcare industry. Fifth Street anticipates investing approximately $110 million and intends to finance the purchase with available liquidity, including operating cash and borrowings under Fifth Street's existing credit facilities.
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 all showing modest gains.
Semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) were higher, up 0.98% and 1.27% respectively.
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was flat.
In sector news, Cognizant (CTSH) was up 4.3% after reporting Q1 revenue of $2.02 billion, vs. the analyst consensus of $2 billion on Cap IQ. EPS was $1.02, vs. expectations of $0.94 per share. The company boosted its stock buyback program by $500 million to $1.5 billion. For Q2, the company expects revenue of at least $2.13 billion, vs. expectations of $2.11 billion. EPS is seen at $1.06, vs. expectations of $0.99 per share. For FY 2013, it expects revenues of at least $8.6 billion and EPS of $4.31, vs. the Street view of $4.62 billion in revenues and earnings of $4.05 per share.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) are flat, with a positive bias.
In sector news, Northern Oil and Gas (NOG) said it will engage in an underwritten public offering of $200 million of its 8% senior notes due 2020. Northern will use the proceeds to repay borrowings under its revolving credit facility, to fund capital expenditures, and for other general corporate purposes. The shares are up 1% at $13.22.
June crude was up 0.42%; July natural gas was up 0.96%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.61%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 0.28%.
June gold was up 2.02% and silver for July delivery was down 0.38%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 091%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up down 0.95%. Gold funds were among the top ten gainers, with Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X Shares (NUGT) up 10.9% and Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) up 3.67%.
Healthcare ETFs Health Care SPDR (XLV) and Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) were slightly higher, while iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) was down 0.08%. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.11%.
In corporate news, Omega Healthcare Investors Inc. (OHI) reported first quarter 2013 adjusted funds from operations (FFO) of $71.7 million, or $0.63 per common share, compared to consensus estimate of $0.60. Revenues for the quarter totaled $101.8 million, better than consensus estimate of $96.3 million.
In the prior-year period, adjusted FFO was $56.9 million, or $0.55 per share, on revenues of $84.5 million. The company confirmed its 2013 adjusted FFO to be between $2.45 and $2.50 per diluted share. Analysts expect adjusted FFO of $2.45. The shares are up 0.28% and earlier hit a 52-week high of $35.63.
Consumer ETFs Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) are showing modest losses.
In sector news, Whole Foods Market (WFM) shares have spiked almost 11% and hit a 52-week high of $103.72 after the company's Q2 EPS topped estimates and it raised its full-year forecasts. The intraday gain was the biggest since last July, according to Bloomberg.
The company reported after the bell Tuesday that Q2 sales increased 13% to $3.0 billion, on par with the $3 billion the Street expected. Its Q2 EPS was $0.76 per share versus the $0.73 per share in earnings the Street expected.
Industrial ETFs Vanguard Industrials (VIS) was up 0.49%, iShares Trust Dow Jones U.S. Industrial Sector Index Fund (IYJ) has risen 0.44%, and Select Sector SPDR-Industrial (XLI) was up 0.54%.
In earnings news, Axiall Corp (AXLL) has tanked 15.7% after reporting first quarter 2013 adjusted net income of $45.1 million, or $0.75 per share. This compares to last year's adjusted net income of $27.6 million, or $0.79 per share. Net sales for the quarter came in at $1.1 billion, in line with consensus estimate. Year-ago net sales were $859.9 million.
Power Play - Funds with AXLL exposure. Morningstar Small Value Index Fund (JKL) and Russell 2000 Growth (IWO). JKL was up 0.26%, while IWO was slightly weaker.