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Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Remain Higher as Comey Ends Testimony; Wall Street Digests ECB Move, Eyes UK Elections

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

SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): +1.7%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN ( VXX ): -2.4%

United States Oil Fund ( USO ): +0.2%

VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF ( GDX ): -2.3%

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

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV were higher. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was down 0.03%, but earlier touched a new 52-week high.

U.S. stocks held on to their gains in mid-day trade even as concerns over Russian interference in the 2016 election were raised by former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey's Senate testimony. However, the testimony failed to convincingly implicate President Trump in any wrong doing.

News abroad also remained in Wall Street's focus: the U.K elections, and the European Central Bank's policy announcement. A final opinion poll suggested that U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives were on course to increase their parliamentary majority despite a surge by Labour. Meanwhile, the ECB said it will drop the easing bias on rates, while leaving current policy rates and the quantitative easing (QE) schedule unchanged.

Back home, initial jobless claims fell by 10,000 to 245,000. The drop was larger than the expected 241,000. Continuing claims dipped by 2,000 to 1.92 million.

Power Play: Technology

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 mostly higher. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was up 1.2%.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 1.4% while Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 1.3% - with both funds hitting new record highs.

Alibaba Group Holding (BABA) was up 11.2% after CFO Maggie Wu said the company expects revenue growth between 45% and 49% in fiscal 2018, Reuters reported. Wu was speaking at an investor conference in Hangzhou in China. In fiscal 2017, revenue growth was 56%.

Winners and Losers

Financial

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 1.7%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 3.1%, while its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 3.2%.

Tiptree Financial (TIPT) was up 5.5% after it said it has received confirmation from NASDAQ that it has regained compliance with the exchange's listing rules.

Energy

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.3% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 0.3%.

Dynagas LNG Partners LP (DLNG) was down 1.9% after it said its adjusted diluted earnings for its Q1 ended March 31 was $0.37 per share, down from $0.48 per share in the same period a year ago and missing the estimate of three analysts polled by Capital IQ of $0.41 per share. The company reported Q1 revenue of $39.1 million, down from $42.7 million in the same period a year ago and missing the estimate of five analysts polled by Capital IQ of $40.5 million. The company noted its Q1 weighted average number of common units outstanding, basic and diluted was 31,660,500 compared with 20,505,000 in the same period a year ago.

Commodities

Crude was up 0.4%. United States Oil Fund ( USO ) was up 0.3%. Natural gas was up 0.8% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 1.4%.

Gold was down 1.1%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.8%. Silver was 1.1% lower while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.8%.

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 in negative territory.

Urban Outfitters (URBN) slumped 8.1% to a new eight-year low after the apparel retailer said its comparable retail segments net sales for the current fiscal Q2 are high single-digit negative. Analysts polled by Capital IQ are expecting a 2.5% drop in Q2 comparable retail segment net sales. For Q1 ended April 30, the retailer said net sales totaled $761.2 million, down slightly from $762.6 million in the year-ago quarter, with a 1.4% decrease in retail segment net sales and a 3.1% decrease in retail segment comparable net sales.

Health Care

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

Invacare (IVC) was down 7.8% after it said late Wednesday it would offer $100 million convertible senior notes due 2022 in a private sale to raise funds for working capital and general purposes. The company said it would also arrange a convertible hedge deal with Goldman Sachs to reduce the potential equity dilution and any cash payments in excess of the principal amount upon conversion of the notes, adding that a separate deal also involved warrant transaction.

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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