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Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Slip as Walls Street Awaits Concrete Developments from US-Trade Talks

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

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): +0.8%

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.1%

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ): -0.6%

ProShares UltraPro Short QQQ ( SQQQ ): -0.4%

iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN ( VXXB ): +0.5%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including IWM and IVV were weaker. Actively-traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.2%.

US stocks were lower at session's half, as Wall Street continues to look for solid progress in the US trade negotiations, but optimism a final deal can be reached soon has soured somewhat.

In economic data news, the US non-manufacturing sector saw economic activity grow more than analysts expected in February, showing expansion for the 109th straight month. The non-manufacturing index rose to 59.7 last month from 56.7 in January, topping the consensus on Econoday for a reading of 57.2. The print for February was the highest since November's 60.4 reading, the ISM said. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a figure below that level means the sector is generally shrinking.

Meanwhile, sales of new homes in December rose 3.7% from November, though they were still down from the same month a year earlier, the U.S. Commerce Departmen t report ed. New single-family homes were sold in December at a seasonally adjusted rate of 621,000, up from a revised rate of 599,000 in November. Still, that's 2.4% below the December 2017 rate of 636,000. November's rate was revised down from an initial estimate of 657,000, the department said.

Power Play: Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV) was up 0.2% and other funds iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) and Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) were firmer. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.5%.

Adamas Pharmaceuticals (ADMS) fell some 31% after the company reported its net loss narrowed to $1.06 per share in Q4 from $1.27 per share a year earlier, as revenue jumped to $13.32 million from $0.57 million over the same period. The results, driven by GOCOVRI to treat dyskinesia in patients with Parkinson's disease, were better than analysts' estimates of net loss of $1.33 per share on revenue of $13.21 million in a Capital IQ poll. The drugmaker said its cash position stood at $210.9 million at the end of 2018, adding that it expected full-year R&D expenses to be between $35 million and $45 million and SG&A expenses to be between $120 million and $130 million for 2019.

Winners and Losers

Financial

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 0.6%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 0.8%; Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X Shares (FAZ) was up 8%.

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) was down 0.8% after the exchange and clearinghouse operator reported a 15.8% decline in commodities contract trading volume and a 22.1% decline in financials trading volume in February compared with the same period last year. Averaged daily volume for its flagship Brent crude oil contract fell 17% to 910,000.

Technology

Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was down 0.3%; 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) slipped lower.

Semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was down 0.1%, while Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 0.02%.

Shares of Align Technology (ALGN) were down 7% after the company was ordered to close its Invisalign stores as a result of an arbitration proceeding with certain SDC Financial firms. The arbitrator held that Align breached the non-compete provision applicable to the SDC firms and Align misused confidential information and violated fiduciary duties to SDC. Among other penalties, Align was ordered to close its 12 Invisalign stores by April 3 and was banned from opening new Invisalign stores. Align said it is still evaluating the financial impact of the store closures, but does not expect it to materially affect the group's Q1 or fiscal 2019 revenues. Align also noted that its existing supply agreement with SDC remains in place through 2019.

Energy

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was down 0.4% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 0.4%.

Pacific Energy Development (PED) were up more than 9% after the company announced the conversion of its remaining $32.7 million in debt into common shares at $2.13 per share. The bulk of the debt was held by SK Energy, which is owned by Pacific Energy CEO Simon Kukes. The company is now debt-free, following the conversion.

Commodities

Crude was down 0.3%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.2%. Natural gas was up 0.3% and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 0.5%.

Gold was down 0.3%, and SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.3%. Silver was up 0.1% and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.1%.

Consumer

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was down 0.1% and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) were in the red.

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was up 0.4% and SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) , PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were higher.

Kohl's (KSS) rose more than 7% after the omni-channel retailer posted Q4 non-GAAP earnings of $2.24 per share, compared with the prior-year period's $1.87 per share. Analysts polled by Capital IQ were expecting EPS of $2.18. Revenue was $6.82 billion, down 3.3% from $7.06 billion in the same quarter last year. The Street view was for revenue of $6.55 billion. The company expects fiscal 2019 EPS of $5.80 - $6.15 versus the Street view of $5.76 EPS. Comparable sales are expected to be flat to up 2.0%.

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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