Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Trim Earlier Gains on Renewed Concerns Over Syrian Strike

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

SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust ( SPY ): +0.15%

iShares MSCI Japan Index ( EWJ ): +2.1%

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

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ( VXX ): -2.3%

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ): +0.4%

Broad Market Indicators

Many broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, continue to be firmer, but off session highs. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.3%.

U.S. stocks are edging lower, whittling down gains as investors worry that the proposed military strike on Syria will garner congressional support following President Barack Obama's speech to the Congress. The president reiterated that any action the U.S. takes against Syria will be limited. Economic data was upbeat but failed to sustain the Street's attention: The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index was up to 55.7 in August, while construction spending rose 0.6% in July. Both reports were better than expected.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 0.4%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 0.85%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 0.9%.

Among financial stocks, Bank of America Corp (BAC) was up 0.8% amid reports it sold a $1.5 billion stake in China Construction Bank (CCB).

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.4% while Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.6%.

In sector news, Forest Oil Corporation (FST) was down 2.5% after saying it agreed to sell some of its largely undeveloped acreage in the Permian Basin of West Texas for about $35 million to reduce outstanding borrowings. The transaction includes approximately 58,200 gross acres in Crockett County, Texas. The sale is expected to close on or before September 10, 2013.

Consumer -

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was down 0.2%. Among other consumer ETFs, iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) was up 0.1%, but Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) was edging lower.

In sector news, Jarden Corporation (JAH) was up 8.2% after it earlier announced that it has agreed to acquire Yankee Candle Investments LLC for $1.75 billion in cash from a fund managed by private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners LLC.

Healthcare -

Health Care SPDR (XLV) was up 0.3%; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were both firmer by 0.2%. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB), was up 1.5%.

In corporate news, ArQule (ARQL) was down 10% but above day lows after saying it has received a letter from the committee monitoring the Phase III trial of its tivantinib drug candidate, recommending reduced dosages of the potential liver-cancer treatment because of a higher incidence of neutropenia than in earlier trials.

Commodities -

Crude was up 0.50% but off session highs; United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.6%. Natural gas was up 0.81%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 1.7%.

Gold was up 0.8% and the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 1.2%. Silver was up 3.94%, just below the day's highs; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 4%.

Power Play -

Technology -

Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was up 0.19%; 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 higher.

Semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) were sharply higher. And SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was up 2.57%.

In sector news, Nokia (NOK) was up 30%, but is trimming earlier gains that saw it hit a new 52-week high of $5.58. The company had announced that Microsoft (MSFT) will purchase substantially all of Nokia's Devices & Services business, license Nokia's patents, and license and use Nokia's mapping services. Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will pay EUR 3.79 billion to purchase substantially all of Nokia's Devices & Services business, and EUR 1.65 billion to license Nokia's patents, for a total transaction cost of EUR 5.44 billion in cash. MSFT shares were down 5.9%.

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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