Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Climb On Upbeat Jobless Claims Data; Tech Sector Struggles On PC Sales Data

Active broad market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:

iShares MSCI Japan Index ( EWJ ): +1.70%, with a new 52-week high of $11.40

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.41%, with a new 52-week high of $159.71

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM ( VXX ): -0.53%, with a new 52-week low of $18.38

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +0.05%

PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): -0.06%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, were mostly higher. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) is down 0.06%.

U.S. stocks extended their rally into session's half, boosted by the Labor Department's report that weekly initial jobless claims dropped 42,000 to 346,000, beating the consensus of 365,000. Continuing claims declined 12,000 to 3.08 million, about the same as the forecasts of 3.085 million. Meanwhile, March export prices slipped 0.4%, versus February's 0.6%. March import prices dropped 0.5%, compared with the flat reading in February. The Tech sector, however, lagged behind the broader market, after the IDC reported significant declines in PC sales.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was up 0.49%, with a new 52-week high of $18.64. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 1.27%, with a new 52-week high of $58.60. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 1.4%, with a new 52-week high of $39.17.

Among financial stocks, Commerce Bancshares (CBSH) was down 2.59% after it reported earnings of $.67 per share for Q1 2013 compared to $.70 per share in the Q1 2012, or a decrease of 4.3%. Analysts had expected $0.68 per share. Net income for Q1 was $61 million, compared to $65.8 million in the same quarter last year.

Technology -

Tech ETFs were mostly lower: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), down 0.59%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), down 1.01%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), down 0.63%; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), down 1.09%.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was down 0.28% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down 0.88%.

SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was up 0.49%.

In sector news, Intel (INTC), Microsoft (MSFT) and HP (HPQ) continued to log losses in mid-day action, following the International Data Corporation (IDC) report on declining PC shipments. Worldwide PC shipments totaled 76.3 million units in the first quarter of 2013 (1Q13), down 13.9% compared to the same quarter in 2012 and worse than the forecast decline of 7.7%, according to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

The extent of the year-on-year contraction marked the worst quarter since IDC began tracking the PC market quarterly in 1994. The results also marked the fourth consecutive quarter of year-on-year shipment declines, IDC said. INTC shares were down 2.61%; MSFT shares were down 4.89%; and HPQ shares were down 7.08%.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.02% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.19%.

In sector news, Penn Virginia (PVA) was up 6.44% after the company commenced a cash tender offer to purchase any and all of its $300 million in outstanding aggregate principal amount of 10.375% senior notes due 2016.

In connection with the offer, PVA is soliciting consents to proposed amendments that would shorten to three business days the minimum notice period for optional redemptions and eliminate substantially all restrictive covenants and certain default provisions contained in the indenture governing the 2016 Senior Notes.

Commodities -

Crude was down 1.33%; natural gas was up 0.91%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 1.24%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 0.9%.

Gold was up 0.38%. Silver was also lower, down 0.94%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.59%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.67%.

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs were in the green: Health Care SPDR (XLV), up , with a new 52-week high of $47.88; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), up 0.89%, with a new 52-week high of $85.81; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), up 0.87%, with a new 52-week high of $100.13. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was also higher, up 1.19%, with a new 52-week high of $167.47.

In corporate news, ACADIA (ACAD) was up 48.92%, trimming earlier gains of more than 56% but reached a new 52-week high f $12.24. The company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has agreed that the data from the pivotal Phase III -020 study, together with supportive data from other studies with pimavanserin, are sufficient to support the filing of a New Drug Application (NDA) for the treatment of Parkinson's disease psychosis (PDP). As a result, ACADIA will no longer conduct the Phase III -021 study that was planned as a confirmatory trial and was scheduled to be initiated later this month.

Power Play -

Consumer -

Consumer ETFs and stocks continued to see active trade at mid-day, particularly those in the retail space, as several retailers have begun reporting their same store sales figures for the month of March 2013.

Consumer ETFs were higher: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.54%,

with a new 52-week high of $40.65; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), up 0.72%, with a new 52-week high of $86.38; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up 0.55%, with a new 52-week high of $102.76.

Retail ETFs were showing sharp gains: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), up 2.47%, with a 52-week high of $73.35 and PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), up 1.95%, with a new 52-week high of $28.81. Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) was lower, down 1.44% but reached a new 52-week high of $50.53.

In sector news, Rite Aid (RAD) continued to climb and was up 17.88%, touching a new 52-week of $2.15. The retail drugstore chain reported Q4 earnings of $0.13, vs. a year ago loss of $0.18 per share. Revenue was $6.5 bln, down from $7.1 bln last year. The analyst consensus on Cap IQ called for earnings of $0.01 per share on $6.41 bln in revenue.

Rite Aid said it expects sales to be between $24.9 billion and $25.3 billion in fiscal 2014 with same store sales expected to range from a decrease of 0.75 percent to an increase of 0.75 percent over fiscal 2013. Net income for fiscal 2014 is expected to be between $45 million and $200 million or income per diluted share of $0.04 to $0.20. The Street view is $25.18 bln in revenue and earnings of $0.02 per share.

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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