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Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Extend Rally on Mostly Upbeat Economic Data

By: MT Newswires
Posted: 3/7/2013 1:24:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: EEM;GDX;SPY;VXX;XLF

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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.24%, with a new 52-week high of $154.97

Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): +0.72%, with a new 52-week high of $18.20

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +0.36%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM ( VXX ): -1.8%, near 52 week lows.

Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF ( GDX ): -0.6%

Broad Market Indicators

Many broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, continue to log gains, even touching new 52-week highs. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) is up 0.28%.

U.S. stocks are extending their gains on the heels of mostly upbeat economic data. Weekly initial claims were 340,000, lower than the consensus of 350,000, while continuing claims were 3.09 mln, matching the consensus of 3.1 mln, according to January trade deficit widened to $44.4 bln, vs. the expected $43 bln due to higher petroleum imports, while Q4 productivity fell 1.9%, versus the estimates of a 1.6% decline.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 0.72%, with a new 52-week high of $18.20. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 1.5%, also with a new 52-week high of $161.53. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is down 1.6%, with a new 52-week low of $10.81.

Among financial stocks, Nationstar Mortgage (NSM) has reversed, down more than 4% after the non-bank residential mortgage servicer reported Q4 earnings of $0.71 per share, ex one-time items, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.66. Revenues were $332.6 mln, versus the analyst estimate of $302.12 mln.

Technology -

Tech ETFs are in the green: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), up 0.3%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), up 0.4%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), up 0.12%, with a new 52-week high of $72.75; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), fluctuating between positive and negative, but did hit a new 52-week high of $70.06.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 0.66% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 0.5%.

SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was down more around 1.2%.

In sector news, Ciena (CIEN) continues to see strength, now up 16% and closing in on year highs after the company reported Q1 earnings of $0.12 per share, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.14 loss per share. Revenues were $453.1 mln, versus the analyst estimate of $449.1 mln. In the same period last year, the company reported a loss of $0.17 per share on revenues of $416.7 mln. For Q2, the company sees revenues of $465 mln - $495 mln, versus the $481.72 mln analysts are looking for.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.4%, and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.45%.

In sector news, EPL Oil & Gas (EPL) is nearing its 52-week high, after reporting Q4 earnings of $0.67 per share, ex one-time items, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.47. Revenues were $138.9 mln, versus the analyst estimate of $136.65 mln. Oil production in the quarter rose 43% year-over-year to 13,516 barrels of oil per day (Bopd). The company expects 2012 exit oil production to be at 16,500 Bopd, with Q1 and FY13 oil production guidance at 16,000 Bopd - 17,000 Bopd and 17,000 Bopd - 18,500 Bopd, respectively.

Commodities -

Crude was up 0.77%; natural gas was up 3.2%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.9%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 2.9%.

Gold was up 0.11% and silver was up 0.08%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.5%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.9%.

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs were firmer, some hitting or nearing new year highs: Health Care SPDR (XLV), up 0.04%; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), up 0.06%; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), flat now but with a new 52-week high of $93.45. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) has dipped lower, down 0.1%, but earlier touched a new 52-week high of $154.78.

In corporate news, Edap (EDAP) shares were up near 5% and have hit a new 52 week high following the company's report that the FDA has approved the application for its ultrasound device for treating low-risk, localized prostate cancer. The next step for the product is the filing review

Power Play -

Retail -

Retail ETFs continue to see active trade as several retailers reported their same store sales for February. Among gainers, Gap (GPS) was up more than 3% and nearer year highs after confirming comparable same store sales increased 3%, better than the retail metrics consensus of a 2.8% increase. Among losers, Ross Stores (ROST) was down 7% after its February same store sales slipped 1%, missing the retail metrics consensus of a 1.3% growth.

Retail ETFs are firmer: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), up 0.42%, with a new 52-week high of $69.03; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), up 0.26%; and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), down 0.15% but with a new 52-week high of $47.46.