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Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Turn Negative with Major Indices Off Record Highs, Hedge-Fund Short-Covering Ceases

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

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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.2%

SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): -0.6%

Direxion Daily Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares ( NUGT ): +3.8%

Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares ( JNUG ): +4.1%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV edged lower. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was down 0.1%.

U.S. stocks turned negative at session's half, after setting record highs for a sixth consecutive day. Profit-taking was triggered once a leveraged option fund concluded their multi-billion dollar short-covering spree.

Earlier gains were sparked by the report that the Philadelphia Fed business outlook index soared to a 33-year high of 43.3 from 23.6 in January.

Housing data was mixed as new construction was down 2.6% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.246 million, but permits were up 4.6% to a SAAR of 1.285 million.

And, initial jobless claims increased a much less-than-expected 5,000 to 239,000 versus expectations for a gain of 12,000.

Power Play: Health Care

Health care funds were lower, in line with the broader market. Health Care SPDR (XLV), Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were in the red. Meanwhile, Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down 0.7%.

ConforMIS (CFMS) was down 32.9% after the company said Q4 sales were $21.7 million, up 14% year-over-year and topped the CapIQ mean for $21.56 million. Net loss was flat at $0.37 per share, worse than expectations for a loss of $0.29. FY17 sales are seen between $80 million to $84 million, below estimates for $100.85 million. Q1 sales are seen between $17.7 million to $18.7 million, below forecasts for $23.39 million.

Winners and Losers

Financial

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 0.6%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 1.1%, while its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 1.1%.

PHH Corp (PHH) was down 15.8% after it reported a Q4 adjusted loss of $1.86 per diluted share compared with a loss of $0.38 per share a year ago, lagging the $0.22 average loss-per-share estimate from analysts polled by Capital IQ. Sales slumped to $72 million from $123 million a year ago, coming in well below the $174.5 million consensus.

Technology

Tech stocks were higher, ahead of the broader market. 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 in positive territory. Meanwhile, SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was flat.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was down 0.6% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down 0.4%.

TiVo (TIVO) was up 11.4% after it said Q4 sales were $252.3 million, an increase of 69% from the year-ago level, and EPS were $0.08, down from $0.32 last year. The CapIQ estimates were for sales of $227.42 million and non-GAAP EPS of $0.54. For fiscal year 2017, the company expects revenue of $800 million to $835 million and non-GAAP pre-tax income of $200 million to $225 million.

Its board of directors initiated a quarterly cash dividend of $0.18 per common share, payable on on March 15 to all stockholders of record as of the close of business on March 1. It also increased the stock repurchase program authorization to $150 million.

Energy

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was down 0.9% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 0.9%.

CVR Energy (CVI) was down 8.6% after it reported net income of $0.08 per diluted share, compared to a loss of $0.52 per share for the same period last year, and easily beating the Capital IQ forecast of a loss of $0.17. Revenues for the quarter were $1.35 billion, compared to $1.01 billion for the year-ago quarter, and ahead of the analyst forecast of $1.17 billion.

Commodities

Crude was down 0.3%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.2%. Natural gas was down 1.7% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 1.8%.

Gold was up 0.5%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.4%. Silver was up 0.6% while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.5%.

Consumer

Consumer staples funds were in the red, underperforming the broader market. Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) were weaker.

Likewise, 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 lower.

GNC Holdings (GNC) tumbled 12.1% after the specialty retailer of health and wellness products reported Q4 adjusted EPS decreased to $0.07 for the December quarter, from $0.59 a year earlier. That missed the $0.36 average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Capital IQ. Q4 revenue decreased to $569.9 million, from $629.1 million. That lagged behind the analyst consensus of $571.0 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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