Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Extend Gains on Strong Retail Sales, Upbeat Q1 Earnings; Syria Tensions Subside

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

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): +0.02%

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +1.1%

SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): +1.1%

VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short Term ETN ( TVIX ): -9.4%

Barclays Bank PLC iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ET ( VXX ): -5.2%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV were higher. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.6%.

US stocks continued to rally into the session's half as investor's risk aversion dissipated over the weekend after the US-led coalition delivered surgical airstrikes against Syria without provoking a response from Russia. Additionally, robust retail sales data coupled with expectations for upbeat Q1 earnings has lifted the blue chip index more than 200 points to its 50-day moving average for the first time in over a month.

NY Fed president William Dudley on CNBC this morning had downplayed the likelihood for more than four rate hikes in 2018.

Economic data included a 0.6% increase in March retail sales, but a more subdued 0.2% gain excluding automobile sales, and 0.3% increase excluding sales of autos and gas.

The Empire State manufacturing index fell to 15.8 in April from 22.5 in March, below expectations of 18.2.

Business inventories grew 0.6% in February while sales were up 0.4%, both in line with expectations. The inventory-to-sales ratio stayed unchanged at 1.35.

Finally, home-builder confidence decayed in April to its lowest since April as the housing market index fell back to 69 from March's 70.

Power Play: Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV) was up 0.8% and other health care funds Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were higher. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down 0.3%.

Atossa Genetics (ATOS) shares fell nearly 9% after it urged shareholders to keep voting on two of its most recent proposals that didn't garner sufficient support at the April 12 annual stockholder meeting. The first proposal is an approval of an amendment to Atossa's certificate of incorporation to allow a reverse stock split within a range of 1:3 to 1:15, the company said. The second is the approval of an amendment to Atossa's certificate of incorporation to increase the number of authorized shares of common stock by 100 million shares. Each of these proposals must be approved by the affirmative vote. The polls have remained open to allow additional time for shareholders to exercise their right to vote. Shareholders will reconvene at a meeting now scheduled for April 19, the company said.

Winners and Losers


The Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 0.5%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 1.6% and its bearish counterpart Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X shares (FAZ) was down 1.7%.

Manhattan Bridge Capital (LOAN) rose more than 2% after it reported Q1 earnings of $0.12 per share, up from $0.10 in the same period a year ago and in line with the estimate of $0.12 from two analysts polled by Capital IQ. Total revenue of $1.7 million was up from $1.3 million in the same period a year ago and in line with a single forecast of $1.7 million.


Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was up 0.7% 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 higher.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was down 0.9% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 0.2%.

Shares of NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) fell marginally after sources cited by Reuters said that Qualcomm will refile as soon as Monday an application with Chinese authorities to clear its $44 billion planned purchase of NXP Semiconductors. Sources added that the Qualcomm withdrew an earlier antitrust application on Saturday following a request made by China's commerce ministry. China is the only country that hasn't yet signed off on the Qualcomm deal, reports added. China has a say on the deal as one of several countries where the companies have substantial sales or assets, reports noted. QCOM shares were down some 1%.


Dow Jones US Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.9% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 1%.

National Oilwell Varco (NOV) fell nearly 6% after it said that it expects to report Q1 revenue below the company's prior expectations and now sees revenue to be $1.8 billion for the quarter ending March 31. The company attributed the shortfall primarily to reduced progress on new offshore rig construction and customer-delayed deliveries of drilling, well servicing, and stimulation equipment, causing revenue to slip into later periods, and lower sequential shipments of subsea production equipment at quarter-end. Analysts polled by Capital IQ are expecting Q1 revenue to be $1.94 billion.


Crude was down 1.5%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 1%. Natural gas was up 0.9% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 0.8%.

Gold was up 0.2%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.2%. Silver was up 0.3%, while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.4%.


Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was up 0.8% and other funds Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) were firmer.

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was up 0.7% and retail funds SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were in the red.

Perry Ellis (PERY) shares gained 0.8% after saying it reached a new license agreement with Taesok Optical Co. for eyewear, both ophthalmic and sunglasses, under the Perry Ellis portfolio trademark in South Korea. The collection will be distributed in home shopping networks, online and optical stores with a product launch planned in fall this year, the company said.

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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