Active broad-market exchange-traded funds in Thursday's regular session:
SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.25%
Market Vectors Gold Miners ( GDX ): -2.46%
iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): +0.03%
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): -0.38%
iPath S&P 500 VIX ST Futures ETN ( VXX ): +0.36%
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV were firmer. Likewise, actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.09%.
U.S. stocks were extending their gains into the session's half, with the S&P 500 setting an intraday record following the release of upbeat economic data reports. Earlier, the National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes rose 2.4% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.15 million - the fastest pace in a year and better than forecasts. Meanwhile, the flash Markit manufacturing purchasing managers index showed a reading of 58 in August from 55.8 in July - the highest level since April 2010. In regional economic data, the Philadelphia Fed index rose to 28 from 23.9 in July- the highest level since March 2011 and above expectations.
Weekly initial jobless claims fell by 14,000 to 298,000, compared with forecasts for a decline to 300,000, while continuing claims decreased by 49,000 to a seasonally adjusted 2.5 million.
Finally, the leading economic index for the U.S. rose 0.9% in July, suggesting that the economy's recovery is underway and that growth should continue for the remainder of the year. The coincident index, which measures current conditions, rose 0.2% in July and the lagging index climbed by 0.2%.
Power Play: Consumer
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) were firmer.
Retail ETFs SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were lower.
Sears Holdings (SHLD) was down more than 7% after it reported a wider-than-expected Q2 loss on lower revenue. The retailer posted a Q2 loss of $5.39 per share, wider than the loss of $1.83 per share reported in Q2 2013. Adjusted loss was $2.87 per share, wider than the loss of $2.63 expected by analysts for the quarter. Total revenues of $8.01 billion were down from $8.87 billion in Q2 2013 and missed analyst projections of $8.13 billion. Sears full-line stores experienced comparable store sales growth of 0.1% for the quarter as compared to a decline of 0.8% in the second quarter of last year, while Kmart comparable stores sales were down 1.7% for the quarter as compared to a 2.1% decline last year.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was up 0.73%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 1.69% while its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 1.71%.
Bank of America (BAC) was up 2.09% after it said it reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ), certain federal agencies and six states. The settlement includes releases on the securitization, origination, sale and other specified conduct relating to residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) and collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), and an origination release on residential mortgage loans sold to Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) and private-label (PLS) RMBS trusts, or guaranteed by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA). BAC will pay a total of $9.65 billion in cash and provide approximately $7.0 billion worth of consumer relief. The cash portion consists of a $5.02 billion civil monetary penalty and $4.63 billion in compensatory remediation payments. The settlement is expected to reduce Q3 pretax earnings by $5.3 billion, or approximately $0.43 per share after tax.
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 higher. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was flat.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was down 0.07% while Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 0.05%.
Shares of Chinese online marketer 58.com (WUBA) were down 7.41% after the company said it is projecting revenue in a range of $66 million to $68 million, representing as much as 63% growth over the same quarter last year but trailing the Street view expecting over 74% growth by at least $4.6 million. Excluding one-time items, the company earned $12.4 million, or $0.15 per share for Q2, up from $5.5 million in adjusted earnings last year and beating the Capital IQ consensus by $0.08 per share. Revenue rose 83.9% year over year to $64.6 million, topping estimates by around $1.95 million.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was down 0.02%; Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 0.04%.
CBD Energy Limited (CBDE was up16.96% after it said that, through its Australian Energy Efficiency subsidiary, Parmac, it has been awarded installation and maintenance contracts in Melbourne, Australia. The total estimated value of the contracts is approximately $1.7 million. The projects are expected to be commissioned in September and to be completed in December, 2014. As part of the agreements, Parmac will also earn ongoing operations and maintenance fees.
Crude was up 0.92%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 1%. Natural gas was up 1.17% and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 0.90%.
Gold was down 1.51%, while silver was down 0.52%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 1.27% and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.48%.
Health Care SPDR (XLV), iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) and Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) were in the modestly higher. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down 0.90%.
Ampio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AMPE) was down 25.2% after it said it was exploring alternative steps to meet requirements for filing a Biologic License Application for its Ampion drug candidate on time after discovering a supplier mishandled the prospective osteoarthritis drug during a recent clinical study. The company said the independent Clinical Research Organization conducting the study discovered both Ampion and the placebo were exposed to lower temperatures than permitted by the drug specifications, casting doubt on positive top-line results for the drug released earlier this week.
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