Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Positive on Hopes of Continuing Stimulus Amid Downbeat Econ Data
Active broad market exchange-traded funds in Wednesday's regular session:
SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.5%, hit new year highs
Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ) +0.9%, also hit fresh 52 week highs
iShares MSCI Japan Index ( EWJ ): +0.8%, ditto with new year highs
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM )-0.02, has turned negative
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ( VXX ) +1.4% from near year lows
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, are mostly firmer. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) is up 0.03%, having earlier
hit new year highs.
U.S. stocks have turned higher, as optimism for ongoing stimulus from the Federal Reserve trumped negative sentiment stemming from earlier economic data released. The New York Fed reported that the Empire State manufacturing survey fell to a negative 1.4 in May - the first time it slipped into negative territory since January. Economists had expected it to come in at 3, according to MarketWatch. Wholesale prices also declined sharply in April, but were in line with expectations.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 1%, with a new 52-week high of $19.86. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 2.2%, with a 52-week high of $69.02. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 2.3% and has hit fresh year lows.
Among financial stocks, Citigroup (C) was up 2%, with a new 52-week high of $51.45, after the company said it inked a deal to sell its Credicard unit to Brazilian bank Itau Unibnco Holding for $1.37 billion.
Tech ETFs were losing some earlier gains: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), now down 0.03%, having gone near its 52-week high; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), now down 0.2%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), now down 0.02%, near 52-week highs; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), up 0.5%, with a 52-week high of $70.80.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 1.17% at new year highs while Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 1.15%, having also posted new year highs. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was down 0.4% and nearer year lows.
In sector news, TriQuint Semiconductor (TQNT) was up 3%, with a new 52-week high of $6.23, after it announced a program authorizing the repurchase of up to $75 million of the company's stock. It said that under the buyback, stock repurchases may be made from time to time in the open market at prevailing market prices or through privately negotiated transactions at the discretion of company management.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was down 0.3% from year highs and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 0.3%, also from 52 week highs.
In sector news, Tidewater (TDW) has turned slightly negative after earlier touching a new 52-week high of $57.10. The company said that it has entered into an agreement with HitecVision to purchase Troms Offshore Supply AS for approximately $395 million. The Troms Offshore-owned fleet is expected to include five large, modern and technically-advanced deepwater Platform Supply Vessels (PSVs) at closing. In addition, Troms Offshore has one additional deepwater PSV under construction at the VARD Aukra yard in MC8re og Romsdal, Norway and an option to build a seventh vessel.
Crude was down 0.37%; natural gas was up 1.13%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 03%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 1.15%.
Gold was down 1.9% and silver was down 2.9%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 1.9%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 2.7%, and has touched new year lows.
In sector news, First Majestic Silver (AG) is now down 8% at around $10.34, but above a year low $10.20 hit earlier after the company reported Q1 EPS of $0.23, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.19. In the same period last year, the company reported EPS of $0.25. Revenues were $67.1 million, up 16.1% from $57.8 million last year. No analyst estimates for revenues were available for comparison. The company reported that silver ounces produced in the quarter increased by 33% to 2,437,664 ounces compared to 1,826,803 ounces in the same quarter last year. Silver equivalent ounces produced increased by 36% to 2,731,792 ounces compared to 2,007,219 ounces year over year.
Healthcare ETFs Health Care SPDR (XLV), up 0.7%, and has posted a new year high; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), up 0.55%, with a fresh 52 week high; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), up 0.55% with a new year high. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was lower, down 0.9%, having earlier hit fresh year highs.
In corporate news, VIVUS (VVUS) was now down 3.7% after the company said it plans to offer 200 million convertible senior notes due 2020.
Consumer ETFs were higher: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.93%; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), up 1.08%; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up 0.95%.
In sector news, Macy's (M) was up 2.7% and has posted a fresh 52 week high after it reported Q1 EPS of $0.55, vs. the analyst consensus of $0.53 per share on Capital IQ. Sales were $6.38 bln, vs. expectations of $6.39 bln. The company raised its quarterly dividend to $0.25 per share, up from $0.20, and increased its stock buyback authorization by $1.5 bln.
Power Play -
Industrial ETFs were firmer: Vanguard Industrials (VIS), up 0.5% with a new year high; iShares Trust Dow Jones U.S. Industrial Sector Index Fund (IYJ), up 0.5%, also with a fresh 52 week high; and Select Sector SPDR-Industrial (XLI), up 0.32%, with a new year high too.
Among stocks, Deere & Co's (DE) is now down 4.5% after management expects company equipment sales to be up by 5% in FY13 (analysts were expecting 6%), and FY net income to be $3.3 billion, lower than consensus of $3.4 billion, per Thomson Reuters.