Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Firmer as Investors Hope Downbeat Durable Goods Data Will Stave Off Fed Tapering
Active broad-market exchange-traded funds in Monday's regular session:
SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust ( SPY ): +0.3%
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): -0.4%
Market Vectors Gold Miners ( GDX ): +0.5%, has turned positive again.
Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ): +0.25%, near 52-week highs
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ( VXX ): -1.7%, nearer 52 week lows
Broad Market Indicators
Many broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, were higher. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.8%, just shy of 52 week highs.
U.S. stocks were in positive territory after recovering earlier losses following the report that orders for durable goods tumbled 7.3% during July, topping the consensus forecast for a 4.0% decline. The weaker-than-expected data helped ease market jitters, as investors hope the weak data will hold off the impending Fed tapering. The Federal Reserve is expected to begin cutting its bond purchases before the end of the year.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 0.25%, near 52 week highs. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 0.6%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 0.66%.
Among financial stocks, ING (ING) ADRSs were down 1.1% from near 52 week highs after it said it will sell its South Korean insurance unit to MBK Partners for $1.46 billion, Reuters reports. ING will sell a 90% stake and hold a 10% indirect stake to ensure a smooth handover to the P-E company.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.3% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.45%.
In sector news, Miller Energy Resources (MILL) was up 2.1%, touching a new 52-week high of $5.92. The company and its wholly owned Alaskan operating subsidiary, Cook Inlet Energy, said that its RU-1 sidetrack (RU-1A) was completed and brought online on Aug. 17, 2013.
Crude was up 0.64%, while United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.3%. Natural gas was up 0.11% and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 0.6%.
Gold was down 0.29% and SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.3%; silver prices were up 0.92% while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) has turned slightly positive and is now up 0.04%.
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was down 0.5%; other consumer ETFs iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) were both lower.
In sector news, General Motors (GM) was up 0.7% after it said it will offer a diesel version of its Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon as more automakers are increasing their diesel options amid tougher fuel efficiency standards, Automotive News reports.
Health Care SPDR (XLV) was up 0.7%; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were both up 0.8%. And Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 2.7%.
In corporate news, Rigel Pharmaceuticals (RIGL) was down 12.4%, having earlier hit a new 52 week low of $3 after the company said a potential treatment for patients with allergic asthma failed to meet primary or secondary endpoints in a recently completed Phase 2 Clinical study.
Power Play -
Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was up 0.4%, near its 52-week high. iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW) and iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM) and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV) were also all higher.
Semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) were slightly higher too. And SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was up 1.3%.
In sector news, Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd. (QIHU) was up 8% and hit a new 52-week high of $81.38. The Internet company reported Q2 non-GAAP diluted EPS of $0.40 versus consensus estimate of $0.26. Revenues totaled $151.7 million, compared to the $144 million that analysts expected. Year-ago non-GAAP diluted EPS was $0.17, on revenues of $72.8 million. For Q3, the company forecasts revenues to be between $181 million and $183 million. Analysts are expecting $162 million.