Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Clamber Higher on Hopes for A Debt Ceiling Deal
Active broad-market exchange-traded funds in Friday's regular session:
SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust ( SPY ): +0.52%
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM ( VXX ): -3.05%
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +0.33%
Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ): +0.52%
iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): +1.16%
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others were higher in the session's half. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.76%.
U.S. stocks continued to rally, its highest single-day percentage jump since January, according to a report on MarketWatch. Investors are optimistic that a deal will be reached regarding the debt ceiling and that the government shutdown will end sooner than later. The preliminary October reading of the University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters consumer sentiment index fell to its lowest reading since January, to 75.2. The prior month's reading was 77.5.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sctor SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 0.52%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 1.55%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 1.62%.
Among financial stocks, MVC Capital, Inc. (MVC), a publicly traded business development company that makes private debt and equity investments, was up more than 1% and touched a 52 week high $13.89 after it said it has invested $7.5 million in Advantage Insurance Holdings Ltd., a provider of specialty insurance, reinsurance and related services. Advantage management and other investors participated in the financing alongside MVC.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 1.1% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 1.26%.
In sector news, Buckeye Partners, L.P. (BPL), operator of refined petroleum products pipeline systems, is selling 7.5 million limited partnership units at $62.61 per unit, sold pursuant to an effective shelf registration statement. The offering was upsized from the previously announced offering size of 6.5 million units. The company plans to use the proceeds from the offering to pay debt and for general partnership purposes. Shares were up 3.19%.
Crude was down 1.29%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 1.46%. Natural gas was up 1.01%, and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 0.84%.
Gold was down 2.21%, off session lows, and SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 1.46%. Silver was down 2.93%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was done 1.73%.
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was up 0.07%. iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) is also higher, while Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) was weaker.
In sector news, Gap Inc. (GPS) tumbled Friday, down 7.19% after the global apparel company reported late Thursday its September net sales were essentially flat compared with last year while its September same-store sales fell. Net sales for the five-week period ended Oct. 5 were $1.46 billion, compared with net sales of about $1.45 billion for the five-week period ended Sept. 29, 2012. Comparable-store sales declined 3% in September, with a 3% decline at its namesake brand, a 5% drop at Banana Republic Global and a 2% decline at Old Navy Global.
Select Sector SPDR-Industrial (XLI) was up 0.47%; other industrial ETFs iShares Trust Dow Jones U.S. Industrial Sector Index Fund (IYJ) and Vanguard Industrials (VIS) were also higher.
Among stocks, Controladora Vuela Compania de Aviacion, S.A.B. de C.V. (VLRS) or Volaris Aviation, an ultra-low-cost airline based in Mexico, reported the total number of booked passengers reached 697,000 in September, a 23.9% increase from the same period in 2012. VLRS' demand, measured in Revenue Passenger Miles (RPMs) increased 19.6% year-on-year. The company registered a load factor of 81.0%, a 1.7 percentage point increase year-on-year. VLRS was down 0.35%.
Health Care SPDR (XLV) was up 0.44%. Among other healthcare ETFs, Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were also in positive territory. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.16%.
In corporate news, Vivus (VVUS) was up 10% after licensing its Stendra drug to treat erectile dysfunction to Auxilium Pharmaceuticals (AUXL) for up to $300 million in regulatory and sales milestone payments. Under the terms of the license deal, valid in the U.S. and Canada, VVUS will receive an initial fee of $30 million and a $15 mln payment contingent upon a potential label amendment regarding onset-of-action, in addition to royalties on product sales. VVUS will also be initially responsible for the manufacture and supply of Stendra to AUXL. AUXL was up 1.8%.
Power Play -
Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was up 0.68%, near 52-week highs; among other tech ETFs - 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 gaining.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 0.80%; Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX), was up 0.43%. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was flat.
In sector news, SolarCity (SCTY) was up 22%, after it said it expects to deploy between 475 MW and 525 MW in 2014. In Q3, the distributor of renewable electricity directly to homeowners, businesses and government organizations, said it deployed 78 MW. It also said it still expects to achieve 278 MW deployed for fiscal 2013.