Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Mostly Higher Ahead of Fourth of July Holiday; ISM Manufacturing Data Buoys Sentiment

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

SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): +2%

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): +0.5%

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.6%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN ( VXX ): -1.3%

VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF ( GDX ): -2.6%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV were firmer. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was down 0.+%.

U.S. stocks were mostly higher at session's half, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting a record intra-day high. S&P 500 was also in positive territory, while the Nasdaq Composite Index lagged behind the other benchmark indexes.

In economic data news, ISM's manufacturing index rose to 57.8 in June, compared with 54.9 in the prior month. Meanwhile, IHS Markit showed manufacturing PMI falling to 52.0 in June from 52.7.

And, May construction spending was flat, compared with forecasts for a 0.3% decline. The April reading was upwardly revised by the Commerce Department.

Power Play: Consumer

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) and other consumer staples funds Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) were weaker.

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

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU) was up 4.2% even as the car maker reported US June sales of 187,348 units, down 7% from the same month last year. Retail sales fell 5% to 139,947 units last month while fleet sales fell 15% to 47,401 units.

Winners and Losers


Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 0.3%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 0.4%, while its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 0.4%.

Goldman Sachs Group (GS) was up 2.8% following a Bloomberg report that said the company is reviewing the future of its commodities trading business after a slump in H1. The report cited people familiar with the deliberations. Rivals, including Morgan Stanley (MS), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Barclays (BCS) and Deutsche Bank (DB) have cut back or exited commodities trading in recent years as revenue shrank and regulation has become tighter, according to the report. The unit's start to the year has been the worst in more than a decade, Bloomberg cited one of the people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified. No decision has been made about the strategy for the business, according to one of the people.


Tech funds 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 in the red. Meanwhile, SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was down 0.5%.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was down 0.7% while Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down 0.7%.

Microsoft (MSFT) was down 0.5% after additional details to a report by Puget Sound Business Journal last week about the company's plans to reorganize included thousands of layoffs for the company worldwide, reports said. The restructuring is to reorganize its salesforce and is set to include an organizational merger that involves its enterprise customer unit and one or more of its SME-focused divisions, reports said. The changes reportedly are set to be announced this coming week. The reorganization looks to be a result of a change of leadership this past year, TechCrunch said. Executives Judson Althoff and Jean-Philippe Courtois took charge of Microsoft's sales and marketing divisions following the exit of long-serving COO Kevin Turner last summer.


Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 2% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 1.9%.

Rice Energy (RICE) was down 3.2%, after Jana Partners today revealed a 5.8% stake in its prospective merger partner EQT Corp (EQT) and began efforts to scuttle the $6.7 billion tie-up of oil and natural gas producers. Jana has been amassing a EQT stake since late April and now owns over 8.25 million of the company's shares as well as options to acquire another 1.86 million shares, which would increase its holdings to slightly more than 10.1 million shares, or about 5.8% of its outstanding stock. According to a regulatory filing from Monday morning, Jana said it opposes the proposed transaction because it believes the $26.60-per-share buyout price - consisting of $5.30 in cash plus 0.37 of a EQT share for each Rice share - is too high. It also questions the stated benefits of the deal and would instead have EQT to fully split off its pipeline operations into a pair of related companies, EQT Midstream Partners (EQM) and EQT GP Holdings (EQGP), with the goal of making EQT a pure exploration and production company.


Crude was up 1.6%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 1.2%. Natural gas was up 0.1% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 0.1%.

Gold was down 1.7%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 1.6%. Silver was 3.1% lower while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 3%.

Health Care

Health care funds Health Care SPDR (XLV), Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were firmer. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.6%.

Prana Biotechnology Ltd (PRAN) jumped over 20% after the company said Acta Neuropathologica Communications published a pre-clinical study showing PBT434 lowers alpha-synuclein and prevents neurodegeneration. Not only was PBT434 shown to block alpha-synuclein accumulation, but it also prevented loss of nerve cells in the region of the brain primarily affected in Parkinson's disease, the company said. The required animal testing has been completed and PBT434 is expected to begin human testing in a phase 1 trial later this year, the company said.

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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