Mid-Day ETF Update: Stocks Mostly Lower Again Thursday, But Declines Limited After Below-Consensus Rise in September Inflation

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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ) -0.88%

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ) -0.35%

Invesco QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ) -0.23%

SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ) -1.40%

Barclays PLC ( VXX ) -1.29%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV were broadly lower. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was down 0.23%.

U.S. stocks have trimmed some of their earlier declines after a smaller-than-expected increase in consumer prices, with both the headline and core Consumer Price Index both rising just 0.1% during September, trailing market expectations for a 0.2% increase last month. The year-over-year increase also was smaller than expected at 2.3%, down from a 2.7% annual pace in August and missing the Street view looking for 2.4%. Excluding food and fuel, prices were up 2.2%, or 0.1 of a percentage point under the forecast rise.

Also Thursday, first-time jobless claims grew by 7,000 during the seven days ended Oct. 6 to 214,000 applicants, exceeding expectations for no change from last week's 207,000 claims.

The markets appear to be largely brushing off President Donald Trump's unusual criticism of the Federal Reserve's current policy of gradually returning interest rates back to more "normal" levels after nearly a decade near 0%. Investors also were likely relieved when the President said he has no plans to fire Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, only that he was disappointed with him. Trump blamed Powerll for Wednesday's selloff for stocks on higher interest rates.

U.S. Treasury prices bounced Thursday but have retreated from their overnight highs that took the complex back to Oct. 3 levels. The five- through 30-years were running generally together although the two-year was lagging the longer-dated issues by a sizable margin. The results were solid for the monthly 30-year bond auction this afternoon, where coverage, at 2.42, was the highest since January and the bidding was tight, pulling down the high yield to 3.344%. Demand from end investors also appeared to be strong.

The dollar has been gaining ground following reports President Trump is planning to meet with China's President Xi Jinping at the G-20 meeting next month in Argentina. Citing unnamed officials from both nations, the President has dedicated a team to prepare for the meeting, which is hoped will defuse trade tensions between the two economic superpowers.

Winners and Losers

Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X ETF (FAZ) +3.88%

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLP) -1.39%

Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV) -1.26%

Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF ( XLF ) -1.41%

iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) -0.66%

Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) +0.22%

Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) -2.34%

Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X ETF (FAS) -3.98%

Consumer Discret Sel Sect SPDR ETF (XLY) -0.67%

Power Play: Technology

Tech funds Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was rising 0.2% while the iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW) was down 1.2% and the iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM) was falling less than 0.1%. The iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV) was climbing nearly 0.7% this afternoon.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was rising nearly 0.9% and the Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was hanging on to a 0.3% gain.

ComScore (SCOR) has climbed more than 4% higher on Thursday, recently touching new session highs, after analysts at Aegis Capital began coverage with a Buy stock rating and a $29 price target.

Health Care

Health care funds Health Care SPDR (XLV) was declining almost 1.3% while the Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) was off nearly 1.2% and the iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) was falling about 1.1%. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down over 0.6%.

TransEnterix (TRXC) was almost 11% higher in recent trading, climbing back to within close range of their session high after the company received FDA 510(k) clearance for the company's 3-millimeter diameter surgical instruments as well as for its additional 5-millimeter Senhance System instruments.


Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 1.52%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 4.26% and its bearish counterpart, FAZ was up 4.54%.

Square (SQ) declined Thursday, falling almost 16% at one point, after Sarah Friar disclosed plans to step down as chief financial officer after six years at the electronic payments company to move to Nextdoor, where she will be chief executive of the neighborhood-based social network firm. Square has begun its search for a replacement and Friar will remain at Square into December to assist with an orderly transition, the company said.


Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was down 1.30% while Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 2.40% this afternoon.

Clean Energy (CLNE) was more than 3% higher Thursday afternoon, earlier rising almost 6%, after the alternative fuels company extended its supply agreement with UK energy major BP (BP), securing an increased supply of renewable natural gas over the next several years as a number of production facilities now under construction come online.


West Texas Intermediate crude oil for November delivery was falling another 1.98 to $71.19 per barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange while the global benchmark Brent crude December contract was declining $2.54 to $80.55 per barrel. November natural gas futures were 6 cents lower at $3.23 per 1 million BTU. Among energy-related ETFs, United States Oil was slipping about 2.4% while United States Natural Gas was dropping almost 1.4%.

Gold was up 2.9%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 2.6%. Silver was up 2.0% while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 1.9%.


Consumer staples funds Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was down 1.6%, while Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) was off 1.5% and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) was falling nearly 1.2%.

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was down 1.1% while retail funds SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) was off 0.1%, PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) was down 1.4% and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) also was dropping about 1.4%.

RH (RH) was almost 11% higher on Thursday, easing slightly from a nearly 12% gain, after the recycled home furnishings retailer said its board of directors has authorized a new, $700 million stock-buyback program. The company is expecting to fund the share repurchases using a combination of available cash and borrowings from its existing credit facilities. The company had $22 million in cash at the end of its fiscal Q2 on August 4 and no outstanding debt on its $600 million line of credit.

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 , QQQ , XLF ,

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