Active broad-market exchange-traded funds in Tuesday's regular session:
SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): -0.4%
SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.04%
VelocityShares 3x Long Natural Gas ETN ( UGAZ ): -8.2%
PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): +0.8%
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN ( VXX ): -2%
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV were weaker. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was up 0.8%.
US stocks were mixed at session's half, as information technology shares recovered from recent selling pressure, helping lift the Nasdaq Composite and Standard & Poor's 500, while the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average fluctuated between gains and losses.
While markets had cheered news the Senate had passed the Republican-backed tax reform bill, there are now creeping doubts about the possible extent of the tax cuts.
In economic data, the November ISM non-manufacturing index fell to 57.4 from 60.1, missing estimates for 59. IHS-Markit final November services PMI fell to 54.5 from 55.3 in October, also beneath expectations for 54.7.
Power Play: Health Care
Health care funds Health Care SPDR (XLV), Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), were higher. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.6%.
Galectin Therapeutics (GALT) shares sank more than 33% after the company said its phase 2b trial of GR-MD-02 showed statistically significant and clinically meaningful results in reducing the primary endpoint measurement of hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) in comparison to placebo in NASH cirrhosis patients without esophageal varices. The company said there was a positive trend in the total group of patients (both with and without varices), but the difference did not reach statistical significance for this primary endpoint because there was more variability in HVPG measurements for patients with esophageal varices.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 0.4%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 0.4% and its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 0.2%.
First Financial Bancorp (FFBC) and MainSource Financial Group (MSFG) said shareholders of both companies have approved their planned merger. The deal remains subject to receipt of all required regulatory approvals and satisfaction of customary closing conditions, and is expected to close in early 2018. FFBC shares were down 1.5% and MSFG shares were down 1.2%.
Tech funds Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), 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) were higher.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 0.5% while Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 1%.
Emcore (EMKR) fell some 18% after the company said fiscal Q4 non-GAAP pre-tax earnings from continuing operations increased to $0.12 from $0.10 a year earlier, missing the $0.14 estimate from four analysts polled by Capital IQ. Revenue in the quarter ended Sept. 30 rose to $29.2 million from $25.6 million, missing the $30.3 million consensus. The company said that it anticipates increasing its non-CATV revenue to 30% for the next year as well as improving non-GAAP operating margins to 15% as it exits fiscal year 2018.
Dow Jones US Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.1% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.1%.
ADRs of Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PBR) or Petrobras, rose marginally after the company said it signed a financing agreement for $5 billion maturing in 2027 with China Development Bank (CDB), and it also signed a commercial agreement with Unipec Asia Company for the preferential supply of 100 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day for a period of 10 years. The CDB will disburse half of the loan amount this month and the other half in January when the debt balance of $2.8 billion of the loan taken out in 2009 from the bank will also be prepaid, it said in a statement on Tuesday. With the prepayment, the commercial agreement signed with Unipec Asia Company in 2009, which would have run until 2019, for the preferential supply of a total volume of up to 200 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day, will also be terminated early.
Crude was down 1.1%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.7%. Natural gas was down 3% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 2.6%
Gold was down 0.8%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 1%. Silver was down 1.7%, while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 1.8%.
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) were weaker.
Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) and retail funds SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were in the red.
G-III Apparel (GIII) rose more than 13% on the back of better-than-expected earnings for the three months ended Oct. 31 while increasing its earnings forecast for the fiscal year. Non-GAAP diluted EPS was $1.67, up from last year's $1.50, exceeding the Capital IQ consensus of $1.54. Net sales grew year-over-year to $1 billion from $883.5 million, matching the mean estimate provided by Capital IQ. For fiscal 2018, the company still expects net sales of $2.80 billion but increased its diluted EPS estimate to a new range of between $1.33 and $1.43 from the previous range of between $1.11 and $1.21.