Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Ride Higher as Upbeat Housing, Jobless Data Offset Disappointing Bank Earnings
Active broad market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:
SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust ( SPY ): +0.68%, with a new 52-week high of $148.14
Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): +0.03%, with a new 52-week high of $17.17
iShares MSCI Japan Index ( EWJ ): +0.15%
PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): +0.55%
iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): +0.99%, with a new 52-week high of $88.42
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, are extending their gains, with some reaching new 52-week highs. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) is up 0.55%.
U.S. stocks are also rallying, as upbeat jobs and housing data brightened market sentiment. U.S. jobless claims fell by 37,000 to 335,000 - the lowest level since January 2008, according to MarketWatch. U.S. construction of new homes rose 12.1% in December.
The better-than-expected economic data have offset disappointment over earnings from major financial stocks, particularly from Citibank (C) and Bank of America (BAC), whose reports analysts have decried as "muddled" and "junk," according to another report on MarketWatch.
Winners and Losers
Tech ETFs are in the green: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), up 0.58%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), up 0.49%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), up 0.52%; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), up 0.84%.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is up 0.72% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) is up 1.53%.
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is off 0.26% but near its 52-week high.
In sector news, ASML Holding N.V. (ASML) is now up 8.16%, reaching a new 52-week high of $69.40. The company earlier reported Q4 EPS of EUR 0.65, ex one-time items, versus the Capital IQ consensus of EUR 0.43. Revenues were $1.023 bln, versus the analyst estimate of $1.016 bln. The company expects Q1 net sales of EUR 850 mln, versus the analyst estimate of EUR 1.11 bln.
Industrial ETFs are firmer, reaching new 52-week highs: Vanguard Industrials (VIS), up 0.91%, with a new 52-week high of $74.26; iShares Trust Dow Jones U.S. Industrial Sector Index Fund (IYJ), up 0.79%, with a new 52-week high of $76.37; and Select Sector SPDR-Industrial (XLI), up 0.87%, with a new 52-week high of $39.54.
Among stocks, Insteel Industries (IIIN) is up 7.42%, nearing its 52-week high, after it reported Q1 earnings of $0.13 per share, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.04. Revenues were $85.9 mln, versus the analyst estimate of $80.54 mln.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is up 0.91% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) is up 0.79%.
In sector news, Forum Energy Technologies Inc. (FET) is now down 6.32% after the company lowered its full-year 2012 earnings guidance. It now expects earnings per diluted share of $1.72 to $1.74, below its previous guidance range of $1.83 to $1.88. The company scheduled a conference call to discuss its fourth quarter 2012 financial results on February 15, 2013 at 9:00 AM CST.
Crude was up 1.26%. United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 1.31%.
Natural gas was up 1.22%, reaching new session highs following inventory data, which showed a draw of 148 bcf, better than the expectations for a draw of 136 bcf to 137 bcf. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) is up 1.42%.
Gold was up 0.29%; likewise, silver was up 0.75%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.53%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 0.95%.
Healthcare ETFs are in the positive territory at mid-day, and touching new52-week highs: Health Care SPDR (XLV), up 0.79%, with a new 52-week high of $42; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), up 0.83%, with a new 52-week high of $75.61; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), up 0.70%, with a new 52-week high of $87.96. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) is up 0.07%.
In corporate news, AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AVEO) is down 5.23% after it priced its previously announced underwritten public offering of 6,667,000 shares of its common stock at a price of $7.50 per share to the public. The offering is expected to close on or about January 23, 2013, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.
Consumer ETFs are higher in mid-day trading: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.58%, near the 52-week high; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), up 0.66%, with a new 52-week high of $78.76; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up 0.61%.
Retail ETFs are also firmer: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), up 0.45%; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), up 0.55%; and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), up 0.62%, with a new 52-week high of $45.39.
In sector news, K-Swiss (KSWS) is now up 48.12% and touched a new 52-week high of $4.73. Korean fashion conglomerate E.Land World Ltd. entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the company for $4.75 per share in cash, or a total equity value of approximately $170 million.
Power Play -
Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) is up 0.03%, with a new 52-week high of $17.17. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is up 0.41%, with a new 52-week high of $137.53. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is up 0.84%, touching a new 52-week low of $13.04. SPDR KBW Regional Banking (KRE), which tracks regional banks, is also up 1.19%.
Despite gains for financial ETFs, active financial stocks have been edging lower on disappointing earnings. Citibank (C) and Bank of America (BAC) are both in the red, down 2.97% and 3.90%, respectively.
In financial news, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) shares are now down 0.73% but earlier hit a new 52-week high of $46.87. Reuters reported that the company has reached an out-of-court settlement over its lawsuit against Javier Martin-Artajo. Martin-Artajo was the former supervisor of Bruno Iksil, the trader known as the "London Whale" for massive bets he made that cost the bank $6.2 billion.