Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Weaker as February Jobs Data Disappoints

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

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): -1%

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.8%

ProShares UltraPro Short QQQ ( SQQQ ): +267%

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ): -0.5%

iPath B S&P 500 VIX S/T Futs ETN ( VXXB ): +4%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including IWM and IVV were weaker. Actively-traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was down 0.9%.

US stocks were lower in mid-day trading after February's jobs numbers came in much lower than expected.

Nonfarm payrolls in February climbed 20,000, compared with the 175,000 expected, according to Econoday. The unemployment rate fell to 3.8%.

In other economic news, housing starts climbed to a 1.230 million annualized rate for January compared with 1.078 million in the prior month, while permits rose 1.345 million, compared with 1.326 million in December. The consensus forecast for starts was an annualized rate of 1.17 million; for permits the consensus was for a rate of 1.287 million.

Global markets were also in the red, including a 4.4% tumble in the Shanghai Composite. European markets also fell, with the UK's FTSE-100 slumping 0.7% and the German DAX 0.5%.

Power Play: Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV) was down 1% 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 1.2%.

TrovaGene (TROV) was up more than 66% after the oncology therapeutics company narrowed its Q4 net loss to $1.09 per share from $4.61 a share during the year-ago period. The two-analyst consensus had been looking for a $1.05 per share net loss.

Winners and Losers


Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 0.6%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 1.5%; Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X Shares (FAZ) was up 1.5%.

East West Bancorp (EWBC) rose marginally after Wedbush raised its price target for the bank holding company by $3 to $62 per share following analyst discussions with East West management.


Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was down 0.8%; 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 0.5%, while Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down 0.7%.

China's content regulator has approved the monetization of 95 new video games, including Tencent's Journey to Fairyland 2 and two titles from NetEase (NTES), Reuters reported. Without approval, video games are not allowed to be monetized in China, such as through in-game purchases. China has approved 726 video games since December, but industry insiders believe there is a backlog of at least 5,000 games waiting approval after a hiatus that lasted almost all of 2018. The hiatus dragged down shares in companies such as Tencent, which lost billions of dollars off its market value. NTES ADRs rose more than 1%


Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was down 2.5% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 2.4%.

SAExploration Holdings (SAEX) surged more than 10% after the company announced a combined $60 million of new projects in Alaska and Southeast Asia. The project in Alaska is for onshore data acquisition and data processing services to be performed in the North Slope region and be multi-seasonal due to seasonal limitations. It sees some operations during the first half of 2019 and the remaining operations in Q120. The project in Southeast Asia is for ocean-bottom marine data acquisition services to be performed during Q2. This new marine project will be conducted in shallow water depths of up to 60 meters and is expected to last approximately 30 days.


Crude was down 2.4%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 1.8%. Natural gas was down 0.1% and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.2%.

Gold was up 1%, and SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.9%. Silver was up 2.1% and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 2%.


Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was down 0.3% 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 1.2% and SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) , PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were lower.

Costco Wholesale (COST) rose some 5% after i t report ed diluted EPS rose to $2.01 in Q2 from $1.59 a year earlier, outpacing analysts' estimates of $1.69 in a Capital IQ poll. Revenue increased to $35.40 billion from $33.0 billion last year, broadly in line with market expectations.

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: EEM , SPY , SQQQ , XLF , VXXB

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