Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Mixed to Higher as China's Response to New Tariffs Eases Trade Jitters

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

SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): +1.8%

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): +1.3%

VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF ( GDX ): +1.8%

iPath S&P 500 VIX ST Futures ETN ( VXX ): -3.7%

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.1%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including IWM and IVV were mixed to higher. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was down 0.5%.

US stocks were mostly higher at session's half, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both logging gains while Nasdaq was underwater as a result of pressure on software stocks with component stocks Microsoft (MSFT) and Intuit (INTU) leading decliners.

China's measured and watered-down response to new US trade tariffs reassured trade-jittery investors, driving up global equity bourses across Asia and Europe.

Economic data Wednesday morning continued to indicate problems ahead in the housing market. New housing starts swelled 9.2% in August to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 1.282 million, beating the estimated 1.240 million. But permits continued to deteriorate and were down 5.7% to a SAAR of 1.229 million, its lowest level since May 2017 and significantly below expectations. Additionally, July permits were revised lower to 1.303 million from 1.311 million.

Power Play: Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV) was down 0.1% and other health care funds including Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare (IYH) were lower. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.2%.

Neovasc (NVCN) rose nearly 7% after it said that its Neovasc Reducer has now been implanted in 100 patients with refractory angina in Germany. "This important milestone in Germany was reached earlier than originally anticipated, thanks in large part to the Reducer being awarded NUB-status 1 earlier this year," said CEO Fred Colen. "With awareness of the Reducer therapy continuing to build among cardiologists, we are well on our way to tripling the number of implants in Germany for 2018 as compared to last year."

Winners and Losers


The Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 1.7%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 2.6% and its bearish counterpart Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X shares (FAZ) was down 2.6%.

Goldman Sachs (GS) was up more than 2% as it is said to be in advanced talks with some of the world's largest investment banks to invest in Structured Investment Marketplace and Online Network, or Simon, the company's proprietary software platform that connects banks looking to sell investment products with retail brokers. According to The Wall Street Journal, Goldman is nearing a deal to spin off Simon, its latest bid to profit from its internal technology.


Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was down 0.5% 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 in the red.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 0.1% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down 0.2%.

Copart (CPRT) shares plunged more than 16% after the online vehicle auctioneer reported Q4 non-GAAP profit of $0.42 per share up from $0.35 per share a year ago but below the Capital IQ consensus estimate of $0.48 per share. On a GAAP basis, the company reported earning a profit of $0.45 per share versus $0.30 per share last year. Total revenue increased to $449.2 million from $378.6 million in the same quarter last year, beating the estimated $448.6 million.


Dow Jones US Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.6% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.5%.

Basic Energy Services (BAS) was up 0.4% after it said it intends to offer $300 million aggregate principal amount of senior secured notes due 2023 through a private offering. The company said it will use the net proceeds of the proposed offering to repay existing indebtedness under its existing second amended and restated term loan agreement to repay outstanding borrowings under its asset-based secured revolving credit facility, and for general corporate purposes.


Crude was up 1.2%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 1.2%. Natural gas was down 0.5% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.1%.

Gold was up 0.5%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.4%. Silver was up 0.9%, while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.7%.


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) inched higher.

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was down 0.2% while retail funds SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were lower.

MGM Resorts International (MGM) and MGM Growth Properties (MGP) said they have reached an agreement for MGM Resorts to acquire all of the operating assets of the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park in Ohio from MGP and lease the real property associated with the Rocksino from an MGP subsidiary. MGM Resorts said it will pay a total of about $275 million, subject to customary working capital and other adjustments. The Rocksino will then be included in the existing master lease between MGM Resorts and MGP. Accordingly, the annual rent payment to MGP will increase by $60 million. Consistent with the terms of the master lease, 90% of this rent will be fixed and contractually grow at 2% per year until 2022. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of next year, pending customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, MGM Resorts said. MGM shares rose more than 3%.

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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