Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Continues Weakness But Trims Losses on Better-Than-Expected Jobless Claims, Housing Data
Active broad market exchange-traded funds in Thursday's regular session:
SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.40%
iShares MSCI Japan Index ( EWJ ): -5.77%
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ( VXX ) +1.67%
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): -1.02%
Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): -0.66%
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, continued to be in the red at mid-day. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was down 0.23%.
U.S. stocks were also trading firmly in the negative territory, but pared down earlier losses following better-than-expected weekly jobless claims and housing data. Weakness in the U.S. and overseas markets were triggered by unexpectedly weak data from China, which reported a decline in its manufacturing index for May. Japan's Nikkei Index plunged 7.32%, also weighing on market sentiment.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 0.66%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 1.54%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 1.57%.
Among financial stocks, Lender Processing Services (LPS) climbed 12.30%, earlier hitting a 52-week high of $33.40. This followed media reports late Wednesday that the mortgage services provider is in advanced talks to be bought by Fidelity National Financial and Thomas H. Lee Partners. The deal is worth about $2.9 billion and would value Lender Processing shares at around $33 per share, the Wall Street Journal and Reuters reported.
Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) inched up 0.06%; 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 also firmer, trading at the higher end of their 52-week ranges.
Semiconductor ETFs SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) were in negative territory, down 0.60% and 0.32% respectively.
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was down 4.68%, with a new 52-week low of $4.68.
In sector news, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) surged 13.9% in mid-day actions, adding to earlier gains of some 11%. The company reported late Wednesday Q2 EPS of $0.87, vs. the analyst consensus of $0.81 per share on Capital IQ. Revenue was $27.6 billion, vs. expectations of $28 billion. For Q3, the company guides for EPS of $0.84-$0.87, vs. the Street view of $0.83. For FY 2013, the company expects EPS of $3.50-$3.60, vs. expectations of $3.45 per share.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was down 0.34%; Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) slipped 0.21%.
In sector news, ONEOK (OKE) reversed at mid-day, down 1.16% after chairman and CEO John W. Gibson on Wednesday told shareholders that ONEOK expects to increase its dividend by 55% to 65% between 2012 and 2015, subject to ONEOK board approval.
Crude was down 0.50%, while natural gas was up 0.73%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.69%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 0.98%.
Gold was up 1.43% and silver was down 0.30%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 1.66%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.79%.
Healthcare ETFs Health Care SPDR (XLV), Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were mixed to lower at mid-day. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.39%.
In corporate news, Mannkind (MNKD) was up 9.10% and touched a new 52-week high of $6.99 after Seeking Alpha published a positive report about the company's insulin inhaler to treat diabetes and said the company is highly likely to become an attractive takeover target. The report said the price tag would likely be in the range of $11 billion, or $27.50 a share, but added that its figures may be conservative. Mannkind's founder Alfred Mann recently told investors that the inhaler, currently in clinical phase three trials, may be "the most significant medical product ever," the report said.
Power Play -
Retail ETFs continued to see active trade as several retailers reported earnings results. SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) and PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), were higher, trading near their 52-week highs. Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) was off 0.25%, but hit a new 52-week high of $52.60.
In the after-hours session later, retailers Aeropostale (ARO), Gap (GPS), Ross Stores (ROST), Sears (SHLD) and Zumiez (ZUMZ) will also be reporting their financial results.
In sector news, specialty apparel retailer rue21 (RUE) was up 22.66% and touched a new 52-week high of $42 after it reported that it had signed a deal under which Apax Partners will purchase all outstanding RUE shares for $42 per share in cash, a transaction valued at $1.1 billion.