Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Shrugs Off Cyprus Jitters to Turn Positive
Active broad market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:
SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.52%
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +0.19%
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM ( VXX ): -0.24%, near 52-week low
Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): +0.42%, from near 52-week high
ProShares Trust II ( UVXY ): -0.60%
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, were higher. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) is up 0.66%.
U.S. stocks shrugged off earlier weakness and were firmly in the positive territory at session's half. Consumer and tech stocks were outperforming the broader market, lifted by upbeat earnings news from Nike (NKE) and Micron (MU).
With no economic data reported today, concerns over Cyprus bailout had earlier weighed on market sentiment, after the European Central Bank gave the country only until Monday to come up with a bailout plan. A Cyprus government spokesperson also said its parliament will be making "big decisions" in the next few hours that will determine the future of their country, according to a report from MarketWatch.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 0.44%, nearing its 52-week high. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 1.03%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 1.02%, also edging closer to its 52-week low.
Among financial stocks, ING (ING) was down 2.43% after Reuters reported the Dutch bank said today it had about 900 million euros ($1.16 billion) of exposure at year-end to companies registered in Cyprus. However the bank did say that its credit risk linked to the island was negligible.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) were higher, up 0.65% and 0.52%, respectively.
In sector news, BP plc (BP) was up 2.59% after it announced on Friday an $8 billion share buy-back program, acting swiftly on its promise to reward investors after it sold its stake in its Russian unit, TNK-BP, Reuters reported.
BP, which completed the sale of the half-owned TNK-BP to Russian state oil firm Rosneft on Thursday, reportedly said that the move, designed to increase the value of remaining shares, was an amount equivalent to the value of the company's original investment in TNK-BP in 2003. The British company had already flagged that it planned to distribute to shareholders some of the $12.48 billion it netted from the Russian sale, first announced last October.
Crude was up 0.5%; natural gas was up 0.73%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.57%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was also up 1.07%.
Gold was down 0.42% and silver was down 1.89%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.38%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 1.53%.
Healthcare ETFs were firmer in mid-day action: Health Care SPDR (XLV), up 0.47%; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), up 0.36%; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), up 0.33%. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.34%.
In corporate news, Baxter International Inc. (BAX) was up 0.97%, with a new 52-week high of $70.95, and Halozyme Therapeutics (HALO) was up 16.13%, trimming earlier gains of some 24%.
The companies earlier said the European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use has granted a Positive Opinion to Baxter for the use of HyQvia as replacement therapy for adult patients with primary and secondary immunodeficiencies. The product is a combination of human normal immunoglobulin (IGSC, 10%) and recombinant human hyaluronidase, which facilitates the dispersion and absorption of the IGSC.
Consumer ETFs logged sharp gains at mid-day: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.77%, with a new 52-week high of $39.32; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), up 0.89%, with a new 52-week high of $84.44; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up 0.76%, with a new 52-week high of $99.50.
Retail ETFs were higher: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), up 0.47%; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), up 0.69%; and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), up 0.73%, with a new 52-week high of $48.42.
In sector news, Nike (NKE) shares were up 11.27%, adding to pre-market gains of 9%, after the company reported late Thursday Q3 revs of $6.18 bln, shy of the analyst consensus $6.23 bln on Thomson Reuters. EPS was $0.73, vs. expectations of $0.67 per share.
As of the end of the quarter, worldwide futures orders for NIKE Brand athletic footwear and apparel, scheduled for delivery from March through July 2013 totaled $9.9 billion, 6 percent higher than orders reported for the same period last year. Excluding currency changes, reported orders would have increased 7 percent.
Power Play -
Tech ETFs and stocks have reversed from earlier weakness, and edged higher, as upbeat earnings from Micron (MU) overshadowed disappointing earnings from TIBCO Software Inc. (TIBX), which had weighed on stocks earlier.
MU shares were up 11.63%, hitting a fresh new 52-week high of $10.18. In the after hours Thursday, MU reported a Q2 loss of $0.28 per share, which includes one-time items and may not be comparable to the Capital IQ consensus of $0.19 loss per share. In the same period last year, the company reported a loss of $0.27 per share. Revenues were $2.08 bln, up 3.4% from $1.83 bln in the prior year period, versus the analyst estimate of $1.92 bln.
Tech ETFs were firmer: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), up 0.37%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), up 0.31%; and iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), up 0.25%. iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV) was weaker, down 0.44%.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 0.51% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) is up 1.31%.
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was down 0.12%.