Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Turn Lower as Turkey's Currency Crisis Weighs on Global Markets

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

SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): -1.0%

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): -2.0%

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.6%

ProShares Trust Ultra VIX Short Term Futures ETF ( UVXY ): +8.3%

iPath S&P 500 VIX ST Futures ETN ( VXX ): +5.7%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including IWM and IVV were higher. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was down 0.6%.

US stocks were in the negative territory, tracking global markets, which were weighed by the currency crisis in Turkey. The lira is down more than 40% this year.

The European Central Bank had earlier raised concerns over the exposure of European banks to Turkey's currency woes. The ECB is also worried about the independence of Turkey's central bank as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to condolidate his power after being re-elected in snap elections in June.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump announced that tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum will increased to 50% and 20%, respectively.

In economic data news, the consumer price index for July rose 0.2%, in line with forecasts. The core rate of inflation also rose 0.2%.

Power Play: Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV) was down 0.2% while other health care funds Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were lower. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down 0.2%.

Gemphire Therapeutics (GEMP) sank 50% after the company said the Data and Safety Monitoring Board at Emory University School of Medicine overseeing the open label phase 2a proof-of-concept trial assessing gemcabene in pediatric patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease has recommended that the trial be halted due to unforeseen problems. The primary endpoint of the trial, which was initiated in 2018, was a measure of the change in serum alanine transaminase (ALT), an enzyme that serves as a biomarker of liver function, from baseline to 12 weeks. Data on the first three patients who underwent 12 weeks of treatment revealed that all three experienced an increase in liver fat content, as measured by non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging - proton density fat fraction, and demonstrated increases in ALT. The increase in liver fat was considered an unforeseen problem by the trial investigator because it was an unexpected consistent pattern of worsening of the disease, rather than improvement, creating risk to the patients, which the investigator believed was likely due to the drug.

Winners and Losers


The Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 1.2%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 2% and its bearish counterpart Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X shares (FAZ) was up 2%.

Itau Unibanco Holding SA (ITUB) fell 5.5% after it said it has obtained regulatory approval from Brazil's central bank for its 49.9% investment in XP Investimentos S.A. at a total price of BRL6.3 billion ($1.65 billion). The first tranche of the acquisition will be completed on Aug 31. The contract provides for a single additional acquisition in 2022, subject to regulatory approve from the Brazilian central bank, that will enable Itau Unibanco to hold up to 62.4% of the total share capital of XP Holding. As a minority shareholder, Itau has the right to appoint two of XP Investimentos seven board members.


Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was down 0.6% and other tech funds 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 in the red.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was down 1.7% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down 2.4%.

Microchip Technology (MCHP) fell some 10% after it reported Q1 earnings of $1.61 per share, up from $1.31 per share a year ago and better than the analyst consensus of $1.48 per share on Capital IQ. Sales were $1.217 billion, up from $972.1 million in the year ago quarter and ahead of estimates of $1.207 billion. For Q2, the company expects sales in the range of $1.474 to $1.550 billion, vs. the Street view of $1.582 billion. EPS is seen at $1.65 to $1.83, vs. expectations of $1.67 per share.


Dow Jones US Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.3% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.3%.

Exxon Mobil's (XOM) bid for a $337 million refund for fuel excise taxes has been rejected by a federal judge in Dallas, Bloomberg News reported. The federal court sided with the government in a dispute over how to apply so-called mixture credits against the fuel excise tax, arguing that the energy major must account for a fuel tax credit in its expenses when determining the cost of goods sold. The judge's decision settles a piece of a lawsuit the company filed in 2016 in its attempt to recover a total of $1.3 billion for "erroneously assessed and collected federal income taxes," plus interest, for the period from 2006 to 2009. Exxon Mobil spokesman Scott Silvestri told Bloomberg News that the company is reviewing its next steps. XOM slipped 0.4%.


Crude was up 1.3%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 1.3%. Natural gas was down 0.7% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.6%.

Gold was down 0.1%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.03%. Silver was down 1%, while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.8%.


Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was down 0.3% and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Consumer Goods (IYK) were lower.

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was down 0.5% while retail funds SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were higher.

Caesars Entertainment's (CZR) board of directors has increased its share repurchase authorization to $750 million of the company's outstanding common stock. Since launching the initial $500 million repurchase authorization on May 2, the company has acquired 23 million shares of its common stock, or approximately 3.3% of the company's outstanding shares. The purchases were made at an average price of $10.22 per share for a total of $232 million. With the increase in authorization, the company has $518 million remaining under its repurchase program.

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

Copyright (C) 2016 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , ETFs
Referenced Symbols: XLF , EEM , SPY , UVXY , VXX

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