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Mid-day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks in Positive Territory, But Off Session Highs Before FOMC Minutes

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

VelocityShares 3X Long Crude ETN ( UWTI ): -12.5%

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.4%

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): +2.2%

iShares China Large-Cap ETF ( FXI ): +6.3%

ProShares Trust Ultra VIX Short Term Futures ( UVXY ): -2.3%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV were higher at mid-day. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.6%.

U.S. stocks were still in positive territory but trimmed earlier gains somewhat ahead of the 2 p.m. ET release of minutes from the March Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

Earlier, the Energy Information Administration said domestic oil inventories last week swelled by 10.9 million barrels, putting pressure on energy stocks and, in turn, weighed on market sentiment. M&A activity however helped offset this. Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A) offered $70 billion for BG Group, ultimately creating the world's largest liquefied natural gas producer.

Another merger was Mylan's (MYL) offer of $205 per share in cash and stock for Ireland's Perrigo Company plc (PRGO), sending shares of both drugmakers to record highs.

Power Play: Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV), iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) and Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) were firmer. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 3%.

Perrigo Company plc (PRGO) and Mylan NV (MYL) both reached fresh record highs Wednesday morning after Mylan said it made a proposal to acquire the Ireland-based company for a combination of cash and stock. Under the terms of the non-binding proposal delivered to Perrigo's chairman on April 6, Perrigo shareholders will receive $205 in combination of cash and Mylan stock for each Perrigo share, which represents a 25% premium to the stock's closing price on Friday, April 3. The proposal is subject to the pre-condition of confirmatory due diligence, which may be waived by Mylan. PRGO shares rose 23.5%, while MYL shares rose 13.7%.

Winners and Losers

Financial

Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was up 0.4%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 1.2%, while Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X Shares (FAZ) was down 1.1%.

American Capital, Ltd. (ACAS) was down 0.2% said Wednesday it has sold its radiation products business Mirion Technologies to U.K.-based private equity investment firm Charterhouse Capital Partners, LLP for $750 million. Mirion provides radiation detection, measurement, analysis and monitoring products and services to the nuclear power, medical, military and homeland security markets.

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

Semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 0.7%, and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 0.6%.

Vringo (VRNG) was up 4.7% after announcing a favorable ruling relating to a non-disclosure agreement with ZTE. In a press release, Vringo said a New York Federal Court ruled that ZTE violated the non-disclosure agreement with Vringo, which formed the original basis for Vringo's claim against ZTE.

Energy

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was down 0.7% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 0.6%.

American Eagle Energy (AMZG) was down 17.3% after reporting a wider net loss for Q4 2014 on higher revenues versus the comparable period in 2013. For Q4, the net loss for the quarter was $78.6 million, or $2.58 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $462,000, or $0.03 per diluted share in Q4 2013. On an adjusted basis, net loss was $0.23 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $0.01 per share in the prior year period. Analyst estimates were not available for comparison. Oil and gas sales were $14.5 million, up from $13.5 million reported for the same period last year. For Q1 2015, the company reiterated its previous average production guidance of approximately 1,900 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Commodities

Crude was down 5.6%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 4.3%. Natural gas was down 1.8% and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 1.4%.

Gold was down 0.7%, and silver was down 2.5%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.6% and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 2.2%.

Consumer

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) were in the green.

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

Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF) was down 6.3% after it priced an underwritten secondary offering of 10 million shares of its common shares offered by investment funds affiliated with MHR Fund Management LLC at a public offering price of $32.00 per share. The investment funds have granted to the underwriter a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1.5 million common shares. Lionsgate will not sell any shares in the offering and will not receive any proceeds from the offering. The offering is expected to close on or about April 13, subject to customary closing conditions.

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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