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Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks On Track to End Week in the Green

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

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

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

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN ( VXX ): -3%

VelocityShares 3X Long Crude ETN ( UWTI ): +5.8%

iShares China Large-Cap ETF ( FXI ): -1.1%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV were firmer at mid-day. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.3%.

U.S. stocks were also higher, on track to end the week in positive territory. Market sentiment was lifted by General Electric's (GE) plan to divest most of its the assets of GE Capital Real Estate to funds managed by Blackstone (BX) and Wells Fargo (WFC).

Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker's speech this morning was in focus, as investors were still keen on getting more information on the timing of the Federal Reserve's interest rate increase. Lacker, a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, reiterated his case for a June interest rate increase.

In economic news, import prices fell 0.3% in March, reflecting in part a stronger dollar. This was higher than the expected 0.2% increase. Export prices, meanwhile, edged up 0.1% in March.

Power Play: 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 0.2%, and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 0.1%.

Extreme Networks (EXTR) plunged 24.7% to their lowest level since Dec. 2009 after the company said it expects Q3 sales in the range of $117 to $119 million, below its prior guidance of $129 to $139 million and the analyst consensus of $135 million on Capital IQ. Non-GAAP loss is expected in the range of $0.09 to $0.07 per share, worse than prior company projections of a range of a loss of $0.03 per share to a gain of $0.02 per share. The Street view is breakeven $0.00 per share in earnings.

Winners and Losers

Financial

Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was down 0.2%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 0.1%, while Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X Shares (FAZ) was up 0.1%.

Franklin Street Properties (FSP) was up 1.1% after it said Friday it will pay a quarterly dividend on its common stock of $0.19 per share on May 14 to shareholders of record on April 24. The real estate investment trust has maintained its dividend rate from the previous quarter.

Energy

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.6% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.5%.

Rowan Companies plc (RDC) was down 4.5% after the company disclosed that its Rowan Reliance drillship experienced a loss of seal in the riser connection system while working for Cobalt International Energy (CIE) in the Gulf of Mexico. The drillship began operations on a well on Feb. 1, and it has since been plugged and abandoned on April 6. Cobalt is currently permitting a new well about 200 feet from the surface location of the original well, and it is working with Rowan and regulatory bodies in order to begin drilling within the next two weeks. Rowan said it is continuing to evaluate the potential financial impact of the disruption.

Commodities

Crude was up 1.7%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 1.9%. Natural gas was up 0.4% and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 0.2%.

Gold was up 1%, and silver was up 1.5%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.9% and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 1.6%.

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 1.2%.

Horizon Pharma (HZNP) was up 4% to a fresh lifetime high Friday morning after the biopharmaceutical company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted a fast track designation for its Actimmune treatment of Friedreich's ataxia, a degenerative neuro-muscular disorder. The company submitted its investigational new drug application for the drug for Friedreich's ataxia in February and announced plans to start a phase 3 study in Q2. The designation provides greater access to and more frequent communication with the FDA throughout the entire drug development and review process, with the goal of possibly expediting approval. It also provides the opportunity to submit sections of the registration dossier for the target indication on a rolling basis and to be considered for priority review at the time of submission based on forthcoming clinical data.

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 higher.

Ford Motor Company (F) was up 0.2% after it said it has assumed control of its joint venture with Russian car company Sollers through the acquisition of preferred shares, media reported, citing the company. Ford will also provide the business with additional financial support. The moves is a result of Ford-Sollers reporting a net loss of 5.5 billion rubles ($107 million) for 2014 as a result of the plummeting ruble and ailing Russian economy, according to Reuters. Although the ownership split will remain at 50% each, but Ford will now have future rights to buy out Sollers, which was cited as saying its stake in the JV is worth no less than an estimated $135 million.

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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