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Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Mixed to Weaker as Investors Fret Over Rising PPI, Mixed Earnings Reports

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

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +0.98%

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.23%

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): -0.96%

iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index ( FXI ): +1.36%

Direxion Daily Small Cap Bear 3X Shares ( TZA ): +2.61

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV were weaker. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was in the red, down 0.20%.

U.S. stocks pulled back from the record highs achieved in the previous session and were mixed at session's half as optimism dwindled following a slew of mixed to downbeat earnings from Macy's (M), John Deere (DE) and Power Plug (PLUG). Earlier, the U.S. Labor Department reported that producer prices increased a seasonally adjusted 0.6% in April, beating expectations. Excluding food and fuel, core PPI grew 0.3%, also topping forecasts. The growth in PPI stemmed largely from higher prices for food, energy and costs of doing business. Investors are now cautious as this increase in wholesale costs could also raise the cost of consumer goods and services, particularly if the increases are sustained. Producer prices have grown 2.1% in the past 12 months, up from 1.4% in March and 0.9% in February.

Power Play: Consumer

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) were weaker but still near their record or multi-year highs.

Among stocks, Kate Spade & Company (KATE) climbed 8% after it reported adjusted loss per share from continuing operations of $0.06, down from $0.16 in Q1 2013, but wider than analyst estimates of a loss of $0.04 per share. Total sales of $328.09 million were up from $245.68 million in Q1 2013, beating analyst projections of $201.85 million. The company has reaffirmed full year 2014 adjusted EBITDA guidance of $115 million - $125 million.

Winners and Losers

Financial

Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was down 0.59%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 1.5%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 1.53%.

Among sector news, JGWPT Holdings (JGW) dropped to an all-time low of $9.43, with shares down more than 18% at last check, after the company reported a sharp decline in Q1 income and sales. Q1 net income fell to $34.5 million or $0.77 per share from $89.71 million the year earlier. The decline was mostly attributable to increased interest expenses on a term loan. JGWPT didn't provide a year-earlier per-share figure. Total revenue fell to $136.6 million from $183.2 million on lower unrealized gains on VIE and other finance receivables, long-term debt and derivatives. Meanwhile, adjusted net income fell to $10.1 million from $23.5 million, mainly due to lower revenue.

Technology

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

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was down 0.85% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down 0.10%.

In corporate news, EZchip Semiconductor (EZCH) was up 11% after it reported Q1 net income of $6.1 million, or $0.21 per share, up from $3.5 million, or $0.12 per share, a year prior. Excluding one-time items, it earned $0.33 per share in the latest quarter, up from $0.23 per share a year earlier. Analysts had expected earnings of $0.32 per share, according to Capital IQ. Revenue rose to $20.3 million, slightly above the $20.0 million analysts expected.

Energy

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) were in positive territory.

Among stocks, Advantage Oil & Gas (AAV, AAV.TO) was up 2% after reporting that Q1 2014 funds from operations jumped to $45.4 million, or $0.27 per share, from $21.5 million, or $0.13 per share, a year earlier. Sales, including realized hedging, were also higher at $55.2 million versus $41.6 million last year. Daily production totaled 20,578 boe/d (123,465 mcfe/d) in Q1 2014, down slightly from 21,257 boe/d (127,540 mcfe/d) in the same period last year. Analyst estimates weren't available for comparison.

Commodities

Crude was up 0.74%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.67%. Natural gas was up 0.46% and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.78%.

Gold was up 0.84% and silver was up 0.83%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.82% and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.91%.

Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV) iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) and Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) were in firmer. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB), however, was also higher, up 0.90%.

In corporate news, Celldex Therapeutics (CLDX) was up 26% after striking a clinical trial collaboration agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY). Under the deal, Bristol-Myers will make a one-time payment of $5 million to the the biopharmaceutical company and the two companies will split the costs of a clinical trial. The two companies will evaluate the safety, tolerability and preliminary efficacy of Bristol-Myers' PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor Nivolumab and of Celldex' Varlilumab, a CD27 targeting investigational antibody, in a phase 1/2 study expected to start in Q4. The companies said multiple tumors will be explored in the study, which could potentially include non-small cell lung cancer, metastatic melanoma, ovarian, colorectal and squamous cell head and neck cancers. BMY shares were off 0.02%.

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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