Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Log Moderate Gains, Street Cautious Ahead of Fed's Policy Decision

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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.5%

United States Natural Gas ( UNG ): -1.8%

Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X Shares ( NUGT ): -3.1%, hit near year lows

Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): +0.5%

iPath S&P 500 VIX ST Futures ETN ( VXX ): -2%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, are mixed. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) is up 0.1%.

U.S. stocks continue to post modest gains following the release of mostly upbeat economic data reports: ADP private sector payrolls expanded by 163,000 in July, while U.S. construction spending rose 0.4%. U.S. manufacturing activity was basically unchanged from June. Investors are still cautious, however, ahead of the monetary-policy decision of the U.S. Federal Reserve, due out this afternoon, after a two-day policy meeting.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) is up 0.5%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is up 0.9%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is down 1%.

Actives in the sector are mixed: Bank of America (BAC), down 0.3%; Goldman Sachs (GS), up 0.3%; Morgan Stanley (MS), down 0.1%; and Citigroup (C), up 0.3%.

Radian Group (RDN) is up 13% after the company posted a Q2 net loss of $0.90 per share, which may not be comaprable to the analyst estimate of $0.55 loss per share. In the prior year period, the company posted income of $1.03 per share. Revenues were $158.19 mln, versus the analyst estimate of $179.39 mln and down from $472 mln in the year ago quarter.

Knight Capital Group (KCG) is down 21% after earlier sinking to the new year low of $7.60. The company said that software problems had resulted to routing problems in trading activities. The company has told its clents to send their orders to other firms in the meantime. The admission by KCG came after NYSE Euronext's New York Stock Exchange said it was investigating trades in more than 100 stocks, according to a report on Market Watch.

The Dolan Company (DM) is up 2.5% from year low levels after it reported Q2 earnings of $0.09 per share, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.12. Revenues were $63.8 mln, versus the analyst estimate of $68.44 mln. The company lowered its guidance for FY12, now expecting EPS of $0.49 - $0.69 on revenues of $265 mln - $278 mln, from the prior guidance of $0.68 - $0.84 EPS on revenues of $290 mln - $300 mln. Analysts are looking for EPS of $0.69 on revenues of $288.79 mln.

Mastercard (MA) is down nearly 2% after posting Q2 earnings of $5.65 per share, vs. the analyst consensus of $5.58 per share on Capital IQ. Revenue was $1.8 bln, in line with expectations.

Energy -

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

Devon Energy (DVN) is down near 4%, after announcing that it signed an agreement with Sumitomo Corporation whereby Sumitomo will invest $1.4 billion in exchange for 30% of Devon's interest in approximately 650,000 net acres in the Cline Shale and the Midland-Wolfcamp Shale. Under the terms of the agreement, Sumitomo will invest $340 million in cash upon closing and an additional $1.025 billion will be invested in the form of a drilling carry. Devon expects the entire $1.025 billion carry to be realized by mid-2014.

Commodities -

Crude was up 0.92%. Natural gas was down 1%. Among ETFs, United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 2% while United States Natural Gas Fund ( UNG ) is down 2%.

Gold was down around 0.4% while silver was down more than 2%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.55% and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 1.9%.

Healthcare -

ETFs are mostly firmer: Health Care SPDR (XLV), up 0.65%; iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB), down 0.3%; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), up 0.35%; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), up 0.5%.

Conceptus (CPTS) is up 6.5% at $19.79, and reached as much as $20.64 in the session to challenge the 52-week high of $20.65. In yesterday's after hours session, the company reported Q2 2012 sales of $35.5 million, an increase of 5% compared with net sales for the Q2 2011 of $33.8 million, and slightly above the Capital IQ analyst consensus of $35.11 million. Net income for the period was $0.1 million, or $0.00 per diluted share, $0.01 better than the Street view. This compares with net income for Q2 2011 of $0.5 million, or $0.01 per diluted share. Management issued in-line guidance.

POZEN (POZN) is up more than 4% after it reported a Q2 loss of $0.17 per share, less than the $0.25 per share loss analysts had expected. Revenue for the quarter was $1.8 mln. Analysts had projected $1.68 mln.

Shire Plc (SHPG) is up 5.2% after it posted Q2 sales of $1.20 bln, up 14%. Earnings per ADS were $1.68, up 26%. The analyst consensus on Capital IQ was for earnings of $1.52 and revenue of $1.19 bln.

Consumer -

ETFs in the sector are lower: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), down 0.03%; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), down 0.3% and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), down 0.19%.

SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) is down 0.36%; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), down 0.04%; and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), down 0.09%.

Costco Wholesale (COST) is up 0.4% have earlier closed in on year highs after it reported that comparable sales for the month of July increased 5%. Excluding the negative impact of deflation in gasoline prices and foreign currency, comparable sales increased 7%. Total sales were $7.25 billion, an 8% increase from $6.74 billion during the same period last year.

Avon Products (AVP) is down 1.7% at $15.22, after reaching a new 52-week low of $14.82. Earlier, the company reported Q2 earnings from continuing operations of $0.14 per share, while adjusted non-GAAP earnings from continuing operations were $0.20. Analysts polled by Capital IQ expected earnings of $0.21.

Revenues were $2.59 bln, down 9.3% year-over-year, versus the analyst estimate of $2.68 bln.

Kenneth Cole (KCP) is still down 0.6% after it reported a Q2 loss of $0.03 per share, versus the average estimate of $0.06 from two analysts on Capital IQ. Revenues were $97.3 mln, versus the single analyst estimate of $107.65 mln. In the same period last year, the company reported EPS of $0.03 on revenues of $102.25 mln.

Power Play -

Technology -

Tech actives are mixed: Apple (AAPL), down 0.4%; Microsoft (MSFT), up 0.2%; Intel (INTC), up 0.9%; and Google (GOOG), up 0.4%. Cisco (CSCO), down 0.4% and Yahoo (YHOO), up 1%.

Garmin (GRMN) is up 2.3%, trimming earlier gains of more than 7%, after reporting Q2 revenue of $718 mln, vs. the analyst consensus of $686 mln on Capital IQ. EPS was $0.98, vs. expectations of $0.66. For 2012, the company expects revenue of $2.75 to $2.80 bln and EPS of $2.70 to $2.85 per share. The Street is at $2.79 bln in revenue and earnings of $2.66 per share.

Nice Systems (NICE) is down near 14% after it reported record revenues of $216.7 million for the second quarter of 2012 with net income of $35.7 million. EPS was $0.57. Analysts were expecting revenue of $220 mln and EPS of $0.57, according to Capital IQ. For Q3, revenue is expected in the range of $217 to $225 mln and EPS is seen at $0.56 to $0.60 per share. The Street view is $239 mln in revenue and EPS of $0.59. For the full year 2012, the company expects revenue of $890 to $910 mln and EPS of $2.28 to $2.38 per share. The Street is at $940 mln in revenue and earnings of $2.45 per share.

Nokia (NOK) shares are up at near $2.50, but off a day high $2.72 on rumors that Lenovo was interested in buying the company; Reuters report that said such rumors were denied by a Lenovo executive. According to the report, Gianfranco Lanci, head of Lenovo's operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa, told Reuters that any interest Lenovo may have for Nokia "must be a joke".

ETFs in the space are mixed: iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), down 0.11%; Shares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), flat; Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), up 0.07%; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), down 0.54%.

SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is off 0.11%; Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) is up 0.11%.

SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is flat.

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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