Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Hold Gains as Week of Volatile Trading Continues

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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.04%

SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): +0.2%

ProShares UltraPro Short QQQ ( SQQQ ): -0.4%

iShares MSCI EAFE ETF ( EFA ): +0.8%

Invesco QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): +0.3%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including IWM and IVV were higher. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was up 0.3%.

US stocks held on to modest gains at the session's half, with volatile trading continuing as investors prepared to wrap up a roller-coaster week.

In economic news, the December Chicago Purchasing Managers' Index fell 1.0 point to 65.4, better than forecast, after November's 8 point bounce to 66.4.

The November pending home sales index declined 0.7% to 101.4, weaker than the 1.5% increase expected, and extending October's 2.6% drop to 102.1.

Power Play: Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV) was up 0.5% while other health care funds including Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare (IYH) were higher. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.2%.

Mesoblast (MESO) jumped 11% after the biopharmaceutical company said it will enter 2019 with the most mature cell therapy product pipeline and technology platform in the regenerative medicine industry. The company said in a statement that in Q1 it plans to start the process of filing a Biologics License Application with the Food and Drug Administration for market authorization of remestemcel-L in the US, where there are no approved therapies for steroid-refractory acute Graft Versus Host Disease. In H1, Mesoblast plans to meet with the FDA to discuss the clinically meaningful outcomes of reduction in major gastrointestinal bleeding and related hospitalizations seen in the mid-stage trial of MPC-150-IM (Revascor) in patients with end-stage heart failure and a "left ventricular assist device." Mesoblast also said it expects to complete patient recruitment in the late-stage trial evaluating Revascor in patients with moderate-to-severe advanced chronic heart failure very shortly.

Winners and Losers


The Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 0.4%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 1.2% and its bearish counterpart Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X shares (FAZ) was down 1.4%.

JPMorgan's (JPM) Hong Kong division has been ordered to pay HKD12.5 million ($1.6 million) by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for breaching anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing rules. In a statement on Friday, the regulator said the bank had violated six provisions of the rules between April 2012 and February 2014, including not conducting applicable customer due diligence and handling outgoing wire transfers without including the names of the originators. JPM shares rose nearly 1%.


Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was up 0.2%, while tech funds iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW) and iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM) were in the green.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 0.5% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 1%.

Dell Technologies (DELL) said it paid $14 billion to retire its class V common stock that tracks its interest in affiliate VMware (VMW) as it issued 149.4 million new shares of class C common stock. The class V shares ceased trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Dec. 27, while its class C common stock began trading on Dec. 26 under the ticker DELL on a when-issued basis. On Friday, it began trading on a regular-way basis, the technology company said. Each outstanding share of class V common stock gives its holder the right to receive either $120 in cash without interest, subject to a cap of $14 billion on the aggregate cash consideration, or 1.8066 shares of class C common stock. The exchange ratio was calculated based on the aggregate amount of cash elections as well as the aggregate volume-weighted average price per share of class V common stock for the 17 consecutive trading days starting Nov. 28 through Dec. 21, which was $104.87. Because class V stockholders elected in the aggregate to receive approximately $21.8 billion in cash, which exceeded the $14 billion cap on the aggregate cash consideration, the cash consideration will be subject to a proration factor of approximately 0.6414. Following the completion of the class V transaction, Dell has about 171.9 million outstanding shares of class C common stock, or about 206.5 million shares on a fully diluted basis. It also has about 718.4 million shares of common stock in total, or about 763.9 million shares on a fully diluted basis. DELL shares rose more than 3%.


Dow Jones US Energy Fund (IYE) was down 0.8% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 0.7%.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PBR) was up more than 2% even as it said that its total production of oil and gas, including natural gas liquids, was 2.62 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) in November compared to 2.66 million boe/d in the previous month, a 2% decline in output. The oil firm, which trades under the name Petrobras, has produced 2.6 million boe/d in the January-November period compared to a target of 2.7 million boe/d. The company attributes the monthly decline to maintenance stoppages of the FPSO Cidade de Ilhabela, located in the Sapinhoa field, in the Santos Basin pre-salt area, and of the platforms P-18 and P-37, located in the Marlim field, in the Campos Basin.


Crude was up 1.2%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.5%. Natural gas down 5.7% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 5.1%.

Gold was up 0.1%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.3%. Silver was up 0.8%, while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.6%.


Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was up 0.1% and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Consumer Goods (IYK) were higher.

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was up 0.5% while retail funds SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were firmer.

Wingstop (WING) rose nearly 6% after a note from Wedbush Securities said the company is seeing same-store sales growth that's tracking above expectations in the current quarter, and there's "room for upside" to margins and earnings for next year. The rating on the stock was raised to outperform from neutral by analysts Nick Setyan, Marshall Pittman and Ivan Yu in a note on Friday. But they cut their price target to $69 from $71 on a lower free cash flow estimate and their view on 2019 per-share earnings that was reduced to $0.95 from $0.99 -- but that's still ahead of the $0.88 consensus.

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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