Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Extend Sharp Losses as Gold Tumbles to New 52-Week Low
Active broad market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:
SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -1.36%
SPDR Gold Trust ( GLD ): -7.8%, with a new 52-week low of $131.11
iShares Gold Trust ( IAU ): -8%, with a new 52-week low of $13.18
Market Vectors Gold Miners ( GDX ): -7.6%, with a new 52-week low of $29.10
iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): -2.87%
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, are still logging sharp losses. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was down 1.2% from within a $1 of year highs.
U.S. stocks remain in the negative territory and continue to track commodities and commodity-related currencies lower, as downbeat economic data both from the U.S. and China reignited concerns that global growth is slowing down. In the U.S., the Fed's Empire State index came in at a reading of 3.1, down from the prior month's reading of 9.2 and missing forecasts, according to a survey by Briefing.com. The report followed earlier news out of China, which reported Q1 GDP growth of 7.7%, below expectations for an 8% gain forecast. China's March industrial production also missed a 10% gain forecast, increasing only 8.9% from the year-earlier period. The energy and commodities sectors took the most beating as crude/oil and rare metals sank to new 52-week lows.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was down 1%, but still near its 52-week high. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 3.1%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 3.4%.
Among financial stocks, Citigroup (C) was up 1.6% AT $45.50 but off a day high $46.29 after it reported Q1 2013 EPS of $1.23; $1.29 excluding CVA/DVA, on revenues of $20.5 billion; excluding CVA/DVA, revenues came in at $20.8 billion. Analysts were calling for $1.17 earnings per share on $20.2 billion in revenue.
Tech ETFs were in negative territory: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), down 0.89%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), down 1%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), down 2%; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV) down 1.2%.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was down 1.66% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down 1.7%.
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was down 0.8%.
In sector news, DISH Network Corporation (DISH) has submitted a merger proposal to Sprint Nextel Corporation (S) for a total consideration of $25.5 billion, consisting of $17.3 billion in cash and $8.2 billion in stock. Sprint shareholders would receive $7 per share. This consists of $4.76 per share in cash and 0.05953 DISH shares per Sprint share. DISH shares were down nearly 6% while S shares were up 14%, with a new 52-week high of $7.33.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was down 3.2%; Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 3.4%.
In sector news, Basic Energy Services, Inc. (BAS) was down 6% after it earlier reported selected operating data for the month of March 2013. Well servicing rig count remained unchanged at 425. Well servicing rig hours for the month were 72,200 producing a rig utilization rate of 74%, compared to 71% and 78% in February 2013 and March 2012, respectively.
Healthcare ETFs were easing from near year highs: Health Care SPDR (XLV), down 0.75% from year highs; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), down 1% from year highs; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), down 0.8%. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down 1.5% but earlier touched a new 52-week high of $169.34.
In corporate news, Life Technologies (LIFE) was steady higher, up 7.5% and touching a new 52-week high of $73.50, after announcing that it is being acquired by Thermo Fisher (TMO) for $76.00 in cash, representing a 11.8% premium to LIFE's Friday closing price, or for a total consideration of $11.48 billion. TMO shares were up 1% at $80.32, well off a new 52-week high of $84.55.
Consumer ETFs were lower, but near their 52-week highs: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), down 0.8%; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), down 0.82%; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), down 0.8%.
In sector news, Starbucks (SBUX) is down 1.1% after a report on Reuters said the coffee company will cut its Seattle's Best coffee by 10% to remain competitive with other companies that have recently cut their coffee prices, like Dunkin' Donuts and Maxwell House.
Power Play -
Commodities continued to sink as market sentiment slumped following disappointing data from China. Crude was down 2.79% or $2.54 to $88.75 a barrel. natural gas reversed earlier gains and was down 1.11% at %4.26. Among ETFs, United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 2.4%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 2%.
Gold was now down 8.35% with a new 52-week low of $1355; silver was down 10.87%, also with a new 52-week low of $22.92. Copper was down 2.55%, sinking to a new 52-low of $3.19 as well. Among gold funds, SPDR Gold Trust ( GLD ) was down 7.24%, and sank to a new 52-week low of $131.11; iShares Gold Trust ( IAU ) was down 7.74%, with a 52-week low of $13.18; and Market Vectors Gold Miners ( GDX ) slumped 7.88%, touching a new 52-week low of $29.10. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) also plummeted to a new 52-week low of $22.23, and was down 10%.