Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Remain in the Red as Fisher Comments on Tapering Continue to Weigh
Active broad-market exchange-traded funds in Tuesday's regular session:
SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust ( SPY ): -0.33%, earlier hit 52-week high
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): -0.8%
iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): -0.5%, earlier hit 52-week highs
Market Vectors Gold Miners ( GDX ): -1.7%
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ( VXX ): +0.02% having hit 52 week lows
Broad Market Indicators
Many broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others were lower, but earlier reached or neared 52-week highs. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was down 0.1%.
U.S. stocks continued to slip into the negative territory, as investors digested comments from Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher, who said that Wall Street should prepare for the tapering of the Fed's bond-buying program. Two more Fed members are set to speak later today - Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota and Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart will speak at separate events at 1 pm ET. Markets are also looking ahead to the Senate confirmation hearing of Janet Yellen as the new head of the Federal Reserve on Thursday.
Power Play: Healthcare
Health Care SPDR (XLV) was down 0.23%, but earlier reached a new 52-week high. Likewise, Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were in the red, both with fresh new 52-week highs. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down 0.5%.
Among stocks, Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT) was down 60% after touching a new 52-week low. The company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers the company's new drug application for Eteplirsen to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy as premature.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was down 0.9% from near its 52-week high. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 2.5%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 2.4% after sinking to a new 52-week low.
Among financial stocks, Assured Guaranty Ltd. (AGO), provider of municipal bond insurance and financial guarantees, was up 5.4% after reporting better-than-expected financial results for Q3 2013. AGO said non-GAAP diluted EPS was $0.64 on revenues of $297 million. Analysts polled by Capital IQ had expected EPS of $0.63 and revenues of $293 million.
Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was 0.2% higher, and hit a new 52-week high; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), and iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM) inched up, with new 52-week highs; iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV) was up 0.06%, also near 52-week highs.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) were in the green. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was flat.
Among stocks, Hanwha SolarOne (HSOL) was down 11% after it reported Q3 revenue of $185.5 mln, down 4% sequentially. Net loss per ADS on a GAAP basis for the quarter was $0.89, vs. a Q2 loss of $0.32 per share. Loss per ADS on a non-GAAP basis was $0.78. For Q4, the company expects module shipments of 360-380MW. For the full year 2013, the company expects module shipments between 1.2-1.4GW, of which about 30% to 35% will be for PV module processing services.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) were weaker but both reached new 52-week highs earlier.
In sector news, ZaZa Energy (ZAZA) was down 4% after the company posted a Q3 loss of $0.20 on revenue of $1.1 million. The company said it expects to file today a universal shelf registration statement on Form S-3 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The registration statement, if and when it becomes effective, is intended to provide the company flexibility to access the public capital markets in order to respond to business opportunities and restructure the balance sheet at more favorable terms.
Crude was down 1.11%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 1.4%. Meanwhile, natural gas was up 1.96%, and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 2%.
Gold was down 0.35%, and SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.7%. Silver was down 1.79%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 2.5%.
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was flat, after reaching a new 52-week high; Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) edged lower, although both touched new 52-week highs earlier.
Among stocks, Dean Foods Company (DF) was down around 8% after reporting Q3 EPS of $0.12 per share, missing the analyst consensus by $0.02 per share. Revenue slipped 2% year over year to $2.2 billion, topping the FactSet forecast by around $10 million. The food distributor also reduced its Q4 and FY13 earnings missing analyst expectations. It now predicts adjusted earnings of $0.17 to $0.23 per share in the current quarter and $0.85 to $0.91 per share for the full year, down from its prior guidance looking for EPS of $0.94 to $1.06. The Street is expecting DF to earn $0.28 per share in Q4 and $0.98 per year in FY13.