Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Lower as Concerns Over Global Economic Growth, Uncertainty Over Trade Deal Persist

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Active broad-market exchange-traded funds in Thursday's regular session:

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.5%

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): -1.5%

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ): -0.9%

ProShares UltraPro Short QQQ ( SQQQ ): +2.3%

iPath B S&P 500 VIX S/T Futs ETN ( VXXB ): +1.5%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including IWM and IVV were weaker. Actively-traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was down 0.7%.

US stocks were in the red at session's half, on global economic growth worries and uncertainty related to ongoing trade talks between the US and China.

The European Central Bank cut its growth forecast to 1.1% in 2019, down from 1.7% projections. It also announced steps to help the economy, including a new round of long-term loans to European financial institutions, while issuing a surprise pledge to hold off on any interest-rate increases until at least the end of the year.

In US economic news, seasonally adjusted initial claims came in at 223,000 in the week ending March

2, down 3,000 from the previous week's revised level and against economists' mean prediction for 220,000.

Q4 productivity growth rose 1.9%, better than expectations for 1.6%. Output grew 2% and unit labor costs rose 2% versus 1.8% expected.

Power Play: Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV) was down 0.5% and other funds iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) and Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) were weaker. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down 0.5%.

ArQule (ARQL) rose more than 85% after i t report ed a Q4 GAAP loss of $0.08 per diluted share, narrower than the loss of $0.09 per share a year ago and matching the average estimate of analysts polled by Capital IQ. Total revenue rose to $2.9 million from zero sales reported a year ago, beating the $1.8-million consensus. For 2019, ArQule expects revenue to range between $3 and $5 million and net loss per share between $0.37 and $0.39 for the year. That compares with a GAAP loss per share of $0.36 on full-year sales of $5.8 million forecast by analysts surveyed by Cap IQ.

Winners and Losers


Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 0.9%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 1.7%; Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X Shares (FAZ) was up 1.8%.

Goldman Sachs Group (GS) fell some 1% following a report on Reuters that said the firm has cut 10 jobs in its global commodities trading unit. The cuts were disclosed this week, Reuters reported, citing unidentified sources. The job reductions came after the bank conducted a review of its commodities operation for its financial performance, according to the report. Goldman declined to comment, Reuters reported. Despite the downsizing, Goldman is not planning on quitting the commodities business and will continue to be an integral part of the bank's securities division, a source told Reuters.


Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was down 0.4%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM) and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV) slipped lower.

Semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was down 0.6%, while Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down 0.7%.

Guidewire Software (GWRE) rose nearly 7% after the company reported late Wednesday fiscal Q2 non-GAAP earnings of $0.34 per share, compared with the prior-year period's $0.33 per share. Analysts polled by Capital IQ were expecting EPS of $0.19. Revenue was $169.3 million, up from $163.8 million in the same quarter last year. The Street view is for revenue of $159.7 million. The company expects Q3 non-GAAP EPS of $0.05 - $0.09 on revenue of $152.5 million - $156.5 million. The Street view is for EPS of $0.05 on revenue of $148.6 million. For FY19, it now sees non-GAAP EPS of $1.35 - $1.41 on revenue of $725 million - $732 million. Analysts are looking for EPS of $1.30 on revenue of $728.7 million.


Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was down 0.4% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 0.4%.

Crescent Point Energy (CPG) shares fell more than 6% after the company reported Q4 net loss of CAD$4.35 per share, compared with the consensus estimate of a profit of CAD$0.07 per share, according to data compiled by Capital IQ. Crescent reported adjusted funds flow from operations of CAD$0.61 per share, down from CAD$0.90 a year earlier, but ahead of the CAD$0.58 per share mean estimate compiled by CapIQ. Crescent Point said it is "on track" with its 2019 budget, remaining unchanged with annual average production of 170,000 to 174,000 boe/d and capital expenditures of CAD$1.20 billion to CAD$1.30 billion. As of March 1, the company said it had, on average, over 40% of its oil and liquids production, net of royalty interest, hedged through 2019. Crescent Point also said it recently added oil hedges at attractive prices extending through to Q3 2020.


Crude was up 0.6%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.8%. Natural gas was down 0.3% and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.2%.

Gold was down 0.1%, and SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.1%. Silver was down 0.4% and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.5%.


Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was down 0.4% and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) were in the red.

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was down 0.9% and SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) , PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were lower.

Barnes & Noble (BKS) was down some 16% after it reported fiscal Q3 adjusted earnings that beat but sales that missed Wall Street expectations. Adjusted EPS was $1.21 for the three months ended Jan. 26, above the $1.07 average estimate of analysts surveyed by Capital IQ. Fiscal Q3 sales were flat at $1.231 billion, trailing the analyst consensus of $1.235 billion. The company lowered its outlook for the year, saying it expected fiscal 2019 EBITDA to be in a range of $140 million to $155 million. That is down from a previous estimate of $175 million to $200 million.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , ETFs
Referenced Symbols: SPY , EEM , XLF , SQQQ , VXXB

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