Mid-Day ETF Update: ETF, Stocks Mixed Ahead of July 4th Holiday

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

SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): -0.5%

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): +0.5%

United States Oil Fund ( USO ): -0.4%

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.2%

Invesco QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): -0.4%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including IWM and IVV were higher. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was down 0.4%.

US stocks were mixed at mid-day, ahead of the Fourth of July holiday. Trading has been light for the shortened session, and investors have taken a breather from trade war worries.

In economic news, US factory orders bounced 0.4% in May, better than the 0.0% read expected, following a 0.4% decline in April (revised from -0.8%).

In Europe, equities were higher after German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her interior minister reached a last-minute agreement late Monday for tighter control over immigration.

Power Play: Consumer

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was up 0.7% and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Consumer Goods (IYK) were higher.

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was up 1.1% while retail funds SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were firmer.

Acuity Brands Inc (AYI) shares were nearly 14% higher after the company said fiscal Q3 EPS fell 5.3% to $1.80 from the year-ago period while adjusted EPS increased to $2.37 from $2.15. The CapIQ mean was for GAAP EPS of $1.89 and normalized EPS of $2.17. Sales for the quarter ended May 31 increased 5.9% to $944.0 million from the year-ago period and beat estimates for $900.5 million.

Winners and Losers


The Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 0.4%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 0.3% and its bearish counterpart Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X shares (FAZ) was up 0.1%.

Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC) rose some 0.7% after it said it has acquired Klein Agency, Inc., a St. Paul, Minnesota-based surety and property/casualty agency specializing in the construction industry. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Klein Agency is a family-run agency with more than 50 years helping construction companies with their surety bonding, as well as personal and business insurance needs. All of Klein's employees and leadership will join MMA, and continue operating out of Klein's existing office.


Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.7% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.7%.

Noble Energy (NBL) rose more than 2% after it disclosed it signed a five-year deal to sell 20,000 barrels of oil daily from its Delaware Basin properties to an unidentified buyer, who has transport capacity to the Gulf Coast. No financial terms were disclosed. The agreement, starting in July, provides for "at least" 10,000 barrels to be sold daily, and increases to 20,000 barrels daily beginning in October and for the remainder of the agreement. Noble Energy said oil sold under the agreement will initially utilize the buyer's existing transport capacity to Corpus Christi. However, Noble Energy has secured 100,000 barrels daily of capacity on the EPIC Crude Pipeline for a 10-year period following project startup, which is expected in H2 2019. Thereafter, Noble Energy said it expects to use the EPIC Crude Pipeline, in which it is a partner, to transport the Delaware Basin oil.


Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was down 0.4% 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.

Meanwhile, among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 0.2% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down 0.3%.

Asure Software Inc (ASUR) rose nearly 9% after it said it bought USA Payroll, Inc and as a result, is updating its 2018 guidance. It now sees FY sales between $93.0 million to $96.0 million, up from $90.0 million to $93.0 million and above the CapIQ mean for $90.8 million. It continues to see non-GAAP EBITDA between $20.0 million to $23.0 million. Financial terms surrounding the acquisition were not disclosed.


Crude was down 1%. United States Oil Fund ( USO ) was down 0.4%. Natural gas was down 0.5% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 1.08%.

Gold was up 1.2%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 1.3%. Silver was up 1.4%, while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 1.1%.

Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV) was down 0.6% and other health care funds Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were lower. Meanwhile, Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was edged 0.1% higher.

Oramed Pharmaceuticals (ORMP) fell nearly 9% after it said it entered into definitive agreements to sell 2.9 million shares of common stock and warrants to purchase 2.9 million shares of common stock to several health care focused institutional investors at a combined purchase price of $6.25 per share and accompanying warrant for total expected gross proceeds of $18.1 million. The company intends to use the net proceeds to fund its research and development activities, clinical trial activities, and for working capital and other general corporate purposes. The offering is expected to close on or about July 6, subject to customary closing conditions.

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 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

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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