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Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Higher on Recovering Crude Oil Prices, Mixed Economic Data

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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +1.5%

SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): +3.6%

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): +1.1%

VIX Short-Term Futures ETN Ipath ( VXX ): -3.3%

United States Oil Fund ( USO ): +4.4%

Broad-Market Indicators

Most broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, were higher. Concurrently, actively-traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 1.2%.

U.S. stocks continued to trade higher, with the financial and energy sectors leading gainers, on the back of recovering crude oil prices , which was sparked by reports that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries was mulling production cuts.

In economic data news, the University of Michigan said its preliminary February reading showed a decline to 90.7, down from 92.0 in January. Forecasts had called for an unchanged reading. Business inventories rose 0.1% in December, in line with expectations, but sales fell 0.6%. The November inventories was revised to a decline of 0.1% from the initially reported decline of 0.2%.

Earlier, retail sales for January rose 0.2%, much better than forecasts, which had called for retail sales to remain flat. Sales in December were revised up to show a 0.2% gain instead of a 0.1% decline. Meanwhile, prices for imported goods fell 1.1% in January on the back of lower oil prices. Excluding fuel, imported prices dropped 0.2%. Export prices declined 0.8%.

Power Play: Consumer

Consumer staples funds were in positive territory, matching the broader market. Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) were in the green.

Consumer discretionary and retail funds were also firmer, in line the broader market. Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY), SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were higher.

Groupon (GRPN) was up 26% after it reported Q4 adjusted EPS of $0.04, better than the analyst consensus of breakeven per share on Capital IQ. Revenue was $917.2 million, ahead of expectations of $846 million. For FY 2016, the company affirmed its revenue guidance of $2.75-$3.05 billion, straddling the Street view of $2.96 billion.

Winners and Losers

Financial

Funds in the financial sector were sharply higher, above the broader market. Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 3.6%. Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 9.3% while its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 9.7%.

Och-Ziff Capital Management Group (OZM) was up 22.3% after the company reported Q4 GAAP net loss of $22.3 million, or $0.12 loss per diluted Class A share, compared with the prior-year period's $84.7 million or $0.47 per diluted Class A share. Distributable loss (a non-GAAP measure) was $36.1 million, or $0.07 per adjusted Class A share, versus $255.4 million, or $0.50 per adjusted Class A share in the same quarter the previous year. Total revenue was $342.8 million, down from $687.7 million in the same quarter last year. Analysts polled by Capital IQ were expecting EPS of $0.02 on revenues of $242 million.

Technology

Tech funds were positive, giving up earlier gains, but outrperforming the broader market. 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 firmer. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was up 0.3%.

Semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 1.7%, while Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 1.9%.

PDF Solutions (PDFS) was up 21% after reporting late Thursday Q4 net income of $2.8 million, or $0.09 per share; down from $5.8 million, or $0.18 per share in Q4 2014. On a non-GAAP basis, net income for the quarter was $0.18 per share, down from $0.29 per share in the prior year period and higher than the $0.14 per share Street estimate provided by Capital IQ. Revenues were $24.1 million, down from $26.1 million reported for Q4 2014 but came in just higher than the $23.5 million Street estimate.

Energy

Energy funds were in the green, in line with the broader market. Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 2.8% while Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 2.7%.

Exxon Mobil (XOM) was up 1.7% after it said it has sold its remaining stake in TonenGeneral Sekiyu KK. TonenGeneral Sekiyu KK, formerly an Exxon unit, bought a controlling stake in itself from Exxon in 2012 in a roughly $4 billion deal, reducing Exxon's stake to 22% from 50% as the oil major pulls back due to declining Japanese oil demand. Exxon Mobil had gradually reduced its stake in TonenGeneral since then, and had been replaced by Mitsui & Co as the top shareholder in the refiner with a 6.37% stake. TonenGeneral also said on Friday it planned to set up a U.S. office in Houston on March 1, making it the company's fifth overseas base.

Commodities

Crude was up 10.2%. United States Oil Fund ( USO ) was up 4.2%. Natural gas futures were down 1%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 1.3%. Gold was down 0.8% and SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) down 0.7%. Silver was down 0.1% while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.2%.

Health Care

Health care funds were higher, but below the broader market. Health Care SPDR (XLV) was down 1.2% while other funds Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were flat. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 1.4%.

Vocera Communications (VCRA) was up 10.2% after it reported late Thursday a Q4 non-GAAP net loss of $300,000, or a penny a share, better than the average of Capital IQ estimates for a loss of $0.04 a share and narrower than the year-ago loss of $2.5 million, or $0.10 a share. Revenue rose 15% to $28.4 million, topping the Street view for $26.7 million. Vocera guided Q1 revenue between $24.5 and $26.5 million and a non-GAAP net loss of $0.10 a share to $0.04 a share. The Street's view is for revenue of $26.1 million and a loss per share of $0.03. For FY 2016, Vocera sees revenue between $111 and $116 million and earnings between a non-GAAP loss of $0.13 per share and earnings of $0.02 a share. The consensus of 8 analysts is for revenue of $112 million and a loss of $0.04 a share.

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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