Active broad-market exchange-traded funds in Monday's regular session:
SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.18%
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): -0.57%
PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): -0.22%
iPath S&P 500 VIX ST Futures ETN ( VXX ): +0.57%
iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): -0.11%
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV were mostly firmer pre-bell. Likewise, actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was up 0.2%.
U.S. stock futures were pointing to a slightly higher open as the Federal Reserve kicks off a two-day meeting in Washington. Economists are predicting that the central bank will reduce the pace of monthly asset purchases by $10 billion to $35 billion. May housing start figures are also due out Tuesday 8:30 a.m. ET and are expected to fall to 1.036 million from 1.072 million last month. Permits should slow to 1.062 million from 1.080 million in April, but the pace of completions should increase to an 860,000 unit pace in May from 847,000 in April.
Power Play: Health Care
Health Care SPDR (XLV), iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) and Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) were inactive, but ended higher Monday. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) also closed higher, but is unchanged so far.
In corporate news, Edwards Lifesciences (EW) shares advanced after the maker of artificial heart valves said it received United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its Edwards SAPIEN XT transcatheter aortic heart valve. Shares of the Irvine, California-based company were up 1.4% at $79.50. The stock is up 19% so far this year.
This next-generation, lower-profile system, which includes the 29mm valve size for patients with a large native annulus, will allow for the treatment of more high-risk and inoperable patients suffering from severe symptomatic aortic stenosis.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was flat. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) and its bearish counterpart, FAZ, were also unchanged, but were mixed in the after-hours session, with FAS higher and FAZ lower.
Among sector news, Financial-information and analytical-applications provider FactSet Research Systems (FDS) reported fiscal Q3 adjusted earnings below analysts' expectations and forecast a smaller-than-expected Q4 profit, even as Q3 revenue slightly topped the Street view and the company's projection for Q4 revenue was in line with the consensus. Excluding one-time items, the company earned $1.25 per share in the latest quarter, up from $1.13 per share a year earlier, but below the $1.38 per share expected on average by analysts polled by Capital IQ.
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 flat after closing higher. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was also unchanged but bucked the trend to close weaker on Monday.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) hit record highs on Monday and are unchanged so far pre-market.
In corporate news, Apple (AAPL) has reached an out-of-court settlement with U.S. states and other complainants in an e-book price-fixing class action lawsuit, avoiding a trial in which the company was to face more than $800 million in claims. U.S. District Judge in Manhattan Denise Cote has ordered the parties to submit a filing to seek approval of their settlement within 30 days. The terms of the settlement have not been revealed.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was flat and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.09% - near record highs.
Among stocks, Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS.A, RDS.B) said it's selling a 19% stake in Australia's Woodside Petroleum for $5 billion after taxes. The sale represents 156.5 million shares and will be carried out through an underwritten sell-down to investors and a selective share buy-back by Woodside. About 78.27 million shares will be offered to investors at AS$41.35 a share, while Woodside will buy back 78.27 million at $34.24 a share.
Crude was down 0.5%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.49%. Natural gas was up 0.2% and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 0.12%.
Gold was down 0.77% and silver was down 0.66%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.51% and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.27%.
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) all ended higher Monday, but are flat pre-market.
Among stocks, a New York Judge has ruled J.C. Penney (JCP) interfered with a contract between Macy's (M) and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO) when it made a deal to sell a line of Martha Stewart's home goods. Macy's is entitled to monetary damages and attorneys' fees from J.C. Penney, said Justice Jeffrey Oing of New York state court in Manhattan, but it failed to prove by "clear, unequivocal and convincing evidence" that it deserved punitive damages. A referee or special hearing officer will assess damages and fees. Macy's sued J.C. Penney in 2012 over a partnership that Penney and Martha Stewart announced the preceding December.
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