Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Rise as Year Closes; Trump's Upbeat Tweet on US-China Trade Talks Buoys Sentiment

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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.9%

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): -0.2%

Alerian MLP ETF ( AMLP ): +0.6%

iShares MSCI EAFE ETF ( EFA ): +0.3%

Invesco QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): +0.5%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including IWM and IVV were higher. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was up 1%.

US stocks extended their gains into the session's half as signs of progress toward US/China trade negotiations and indications that President Donald Trump is taking steps to calm Wall Street propped up the major market averages on the last day of trading in 2018.

Buoyed Trump's tweet that US/China trade talks were "moving along very well," global financial markets moved higher overnight despite December data indicating a contraction in China's manufacturing sector.

Wall Street opened with outsized gains but retreated off the highs on a much greater-than-expected deterioration in the Dallas Fed manufacturing index to negative 5.1 from positive 17.6 the month prior, significantly below expectations for a slight decline in 17.0. The last time the index fell by as much was in 2008 during the height of the financial crisis.

Power Play: Technology

Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was up 1.2%, while tech funds iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW) and iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM) were in the green.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 0.9% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 0.7%.

Netflix (NFLX) rose more than 5% after it said in a Twitter post this weekend that its "Bird Box" psychological horror film had already been watched by more than 45 million Netflix accounts as of Sunday morning, marking the "best first seven days ever for a Netflix film." The post was atypical of Netflix, which doesn't usually reveal numbers like these. The post prompted questions among Twitter users about how many Netflix users really watched the movie versus how many accounts accessed it without their users watching the entire movie. However, according to The Verge, a Netflix spokesperson said the company only counts an account as having watched Bird Box "once a view surpasses 70% of the total running time (including credits)." The spokesperson also said "each 'account' may include multiple views and viewers but is only counted once," according to the Verge report.

Winners and Losers


The Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was up 0.8%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 1.9% and its bearish counterpart Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X shares (FAZ) was down 1.9%.

First Republic Bank (FRC) fell more than 2% after it said that it has established an "at-the-market" equity offering program under which it may sell up to 4 million shares of its common stock. First Republic said in a statement that it has entered into an equity distribution agreement with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, BofA Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley in their capacity as First Republic's distribution agents. Sales of First Republic shares may be made in transactions that are deemed to be "at-the-market" offerings, including sales made by means of ordinary brokers' transactions on the New York Stock Exchange or otherwise at market prices prevailing at the time of sale. First Republic said it will start offers to sell shares of its common stock through the distribution agents promptly and that it will use the net proceeds for funding loans or purchasing investment securities for its portfolio.


Dow Jones US Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.3% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.2%.

Shares of American Midstream Partners (AMID) fell almost 29% to their lowest level ever after the company disclosed in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that in accordance with an amendment to its credit agreement, it will not be able to pay distributions until its consolidated total leverage is reduced to less than 5:1. As a result, the company is not expected to pay any distributions for Q4, it said in the filing.


Crude was up 0.2%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.6%. Natural gas down 6.7% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 8.5%.

Gold was up 0.1%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.1%. Silver was up 0.8%, while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.4%.

Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV) was up 1.5% while other health care funds including Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare (IYH) were higher. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 1.6%.

Acasti Pharma (ACST) rose nearly 9% after it said Friday that more than 65% of patients have been assigned treatments in two late-stage trials for its drug candidate CaPre for severe hypertriglyceridemia (HTG) and that more than 100 patients have completed their six-month treatment plan. The company added that overall, about 1,500 patients have been enrolled at 150 clinical sites across the US, Canada and Mexico. Acasti also said it has received a written notification from Nasdaq that it has failed to maintain a minimum bid price of $1.00 per share for the last 30 consecutive business days, and that it has 180 calendar days, or until June 24, to regain compliance.


Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was up 0.4% and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Consumer Goods (IYK) were higher.

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was up 1.3% while retail funds SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were firmer.

Michael Kors Holdings (KORS) rose more than 1% after it said it has changed its name to Capri Holdings, and will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker CPRI beginning Jan. 2. The name change comes as the company completes its EUR1.83 billion ($2.1 billion) acquisition of design house Versace, announced in September.

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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