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Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Extend Losses as Fiscal Cliff, Greek Debt Issues Continue to Vex Markets

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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.43%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): -0.17%

Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): -0.73%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ( VXX ): +0.4%, hit new 52week low

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWN ): -0.1%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, continue to be mostly weaker. But the actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) is now up 0.1%.

Most U.S. stocks are also in negative territory as worries about the ongoing negotiations over the U.S. budget, and moves to avoid the looming fiscal cliff continue to weigh on investors and traders. In Europe, discussions among EU finance ministers regarding the latest aid payment to Greece are set to continue today, after last week's failure to iron out conditions with the International Monetary Fund. Retailers are seeing some promise in an upbeat start to the holiday shopping season, but doubts as to how long this holiday sales momentum will last are putting a cap on gains.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) is down 0.7%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is down 1.8%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is up 2%.

Among financial stocks, Knight Capital Group (KCG) is up around 15% and has touched above the $3 mark after Bloomberg reported the company may receive acquisition bids as early as this week.

Technology -

Tech ETFs are mixed: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), now up 0.1%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), up 0.4%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), up 0.23%; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), down 0.46%.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is up 0.69% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) is up 0.18%.

SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is down 0.31%.

In sector news, Nokia (NOK) is down 2% after reports that its long-time head of imaging and photography Damian Dinning is stepping down from his position effective Nov. 30, 2012. According to finance and trading blog, The Markets Are Open, Dinning's impending departure has caused a shake-up of the Finnish phone maker's management.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is down 0.9%; Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) is also down 0.9%.

In sector news, Magnum Hunter Resources (MHR) is up more than 5% after it said that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Bakken Hunter, LLC, entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire existing wells and about 20,000 net Williston Basin lease acres located in Divide County, North Dakota, from Samson Resources Company for $30 million in cash. MHR currently owns 47.5% working interest in the properties being acquired, and upon closing, the company will have varied working ownership interests in the properties up to approximately 100%. MHR will become operator of that portion of the acquired properties which is currently being operated by Samson Resources Company. In addition to the acreage being acquired, the company is also acquiring approximately 310,000 barrels of oil equivalent of proved developed producing reserves and approximately 192 net barrels of oil equivalent production per day.

Commodities -

Crude was down 0.61%; natural gas was down 3.52%. United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 0.4%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) is down 3.8%.

Gold was down 0.10% while silver was down 0.15%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.02%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 0.03%.

Healthcare -

Healthcare ETFs are lower: Health Care SPDR (XLV), down 0.7%; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), down 0.7%; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), down 0.45%. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) is down 1%.

In corporate news, Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT) is up 5% and went even a bit higher after it announced a collaboration for the development of an additional exon-skipping drug targeting exon 53, its fourth drug in development, in support of Sarepta's broad-based program for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Sarepta's collaboration is with University College London's (UCL) scientist, Professor Francesco Muntoni, MD, the Dubowitz Neuromuscular Centre, the Institute of Child Health and other scientists from the EU and US.

Power Play -

Retail ETFs are weaker: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), down 1.3%; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), down 0.9%; and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), down 2% at new 52 week lows.

In sector news, Zhongpin (HOGS) is up 15.5% and has touched a fresh new 52-week high of $12.68. The company earlier said it entered into a definitive agreement and plan of merger with Golden Bridge Holdings Limited, a Cayman Islands exempted company, Golden Bridge Merger Sub Limited, a Delaware corporation and wholly owned subsidiary of Parent and Xianfu Zhu, the company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

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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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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