Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks In the Red as Gridlock Over Budget Negotiations Weigh

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

SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust ( SPY ): -0.4%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): -1.1%

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ): -0.4%, but still near 52-week highs

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM ( VXX ): +3.2%, nearer 52-week lows

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): -0.4%

Broad Market Indicators

Most broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, continue to trade in negative territory. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) is flat, near 52 week highs.

U.S. stocks also continue to skid lower, following some mixed economic data - with consumer spending and personal income numbers showing growth in August. Meanwhile, the core PCE price index for August rose 0.1%, while the September Michigan sentiment showed a final reading of 77.5, just above forecasts. Investors continue to fret over the gridlock in budget negotiations in Washington - with a government shutdown possible.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 0.4%, but still near its 52-week high. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 1%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 1.1%.

Among financial stocks, Tower Group International Ltd. (TWGP) was down 16%, earlier sinking to a new 52-week low of $6.76 after InsuranceInsider late yesterday reported the Bermuda-based insurance and reinsurance holding company has hired JP Morgan to help it find a buyer for its troubled businesses. TWGP's share price has more than halved since Aug. 7, when the company first announced it was delaying the release of its Q2 results. Since then, it has postponed the results announcement several times with plans to now release them during the week of Oct. 7. JP Morgan reportedly is talking to potential buyers, according to InsuranceInsider, citing multiple sources.

Industrial -

Industrial ETF Select Sector SPDR-Industrial (XLI) was down 0.6%; other industrial ETFs Vanguard Industrials (VIS) and iShares Trust Dow Jones U.S. Industrial Sector Index Fund (IYJ) were both 0.6% lower.

Among stocks, shares of Zoltek Companies Inc. (ZOLT), a manufacturer of carbon fibers and technical fibers, were down 10% after it said it has agreed to merge with Japanese-based rival Toray Industries Inc. Under the merger agreement, Toray will acquire all of the company's outstanding shares for $16.75 per share in cash - 10.8% discount to last night's $18.51 closing price - for a total equity value of about $584 million.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was down 0.2% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 0.25%.

In sector news, Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) was up 1.7% after it said late yesterday that its board of directors has approved an additional $2 billion share repurchase authorization through September 2015. This authorization is in addition to the previous authorization, which had $1.34 billion remaining as of June 30, 2013.

Commodities -

Crude was down 0.42%, and United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.11%. Natural gas was down 0.42%, and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.2%.

Gold was up 1.04%, while SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 1%. Silver was up 0.25%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.4%.

Consumer -

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was down 0.7%. Other consumer ETFs - iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) - were both weaker.

Retail ETFs SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) was down 0.05%; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) was down 0.9% from near 52 week highs; Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) was off 0.3%, but earlier reached a new 52-week high of $55.79.

In sector news, Finish Line (FINL) was up 8% and has hit a fresh 52 week highs after it said Q2 EPS rose 10.2% to $0.54, topping forecasts for $0.46 on Capital IQ, and said it now expected its full-year 2014 same store sales to increase in the low single digits compared to its previous estimate of a slight increase. Consolidated net sales were $436.0 million, an increase of 13.3% over the prior year period, above the consensus for $426 million. Comparable store sales at the sportswear retailer increased 0.9%.

Healthcare -

Health Care SPDR (XLV) has turned positive and is now up 0.1%. Among other healthcare ETFs, Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were also after turning positive. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.6%.

In corporate news, Halozyme Therapeutics Inc. (HALO) was up 11% with a new 52-week high of $12.15 after it announced late Thursday that the commercial launch of Herceptin SC in Europe has triggered a $10 million milestone payment to HALO under the License and Collaboration Agreement between HALO and Roche. This formulation of Herceptin using HALO's recombinant human hyaluronidase (rHuPH20) received marketing authorization from the European Commission on August 28, 2013, for the treatment of patients with HER2-positive breast cancer and was launched upon approval.

Power Play -

Technology -

Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was down 0.65%, but near 52-week highs. Among other tech ETFs - 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 all weaker.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) were both in negative territories. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was flat.

In sector news, American depositary shares of RDA Microelectronics Inc. (RAD) were up 9% and hit a new 52-week high of $15.25 after the semiconductor company said it received an offer to be acquired by Shanghai Pudong Science and Technology Investment Co. The offer price is $2.5833 per share, or $15.50 per ADS, representing a 12% premium to Thursday's closing price in the ADS.

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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