Active broad-market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:
SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.34%, touched a new 52-week high of $156.91
iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): -1.44%, but near its 52-week high
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM ( VXX ): +0.35%, near its 52-week low
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): -0.98%
PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): -0.57%
Broad Market Indicators
Broad market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, have turned weaker. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was down 0.57%.
U.S. stocks erased their gains and slipped into negative territory at session's half, following disappointing ISM data, with the ISM Index for March declining to 51.3%. Economists had expected the ISM index to remain at February's level, which was 54.2%. Construction spending for February, on the other hand, grew 1.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $885.1 billion, topping forecasts.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was down 0.55%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 1.54%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 1.62%
Among financial stocks, DFC Global (DLLR) sank 21.24% to a new 52-week low of $13 after the company issued downbeat Q3 guidance, expecting EPS of $0.20 - $0.24, vs. the Capital IQ consensus estimate of $0.66. For FY13, the company anticipates EPS of $1.70 - $1.80, down from the prior guidance of $2.35 - $2.45. Analysts are looking for EPS of $2.41.
Tech ETFs were in the red in mid-day action: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), down 0.53%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), down 0.95%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), down 0.69%; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), down 1.25%.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was down 2.02% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down 1.71%.
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was down 1.10%, with a new 52-week low of $1.10.
In sector news, Panasonic (PC) tumbled 9.5%, adding to earlier losses of 5% after the company said it will apply for voluntary delisting of its American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) from the NYSE. The company said that the continued listing on the NYSE is not economically justified, taking into account the fact that the trading volume of Panasonic's ADRs on the NYSE accounts for only a small fraction of the total trading volume of Panasonic's shares.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) were lower, down 0.38% and 0.44% respectively, but were trading at the higher end of their 52-week ranges.
In sector news, Oxford Resource Partners (OXF) was down 6.51%, nearing its 52-week low, after it earlier reported a Q4 GAAP loss of $0.29 per share, versus the Capital IQ GAAP consensus of $0.17 loss per share. Revenues were $86.5 million, versus the analyst estimate of $95.60 million. For FY13, the company expects to produce between 5.8 million tons and 6.3 million tons and sell between 6.4 million tons and 6.9 million tons of thermal coal. The average selling price is projected to be $50.50 per ton to $52.50 per ton, with an anticipated average cost of $42.85 per ton to $44.85 per ton.
Crude was down 0.84%; natural gas was up 0.30%. United States Oil Fund
(USO) was down 0.79%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 0.27%.
Gold was up 0.24% and silver was down 1.23%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.19%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 1.33%.
Healthcare ETFs slipped into the red at mid-day: Health Care SPDR (XLV), down 0.09%, with a new 52-week high of $46.10; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), down 0.29%, with a new 52-week high of $83.06; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), down 0.19%, with a new 52-week high of $96.74. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) is flat, but earlier touched a new 52-week high of $161.25.
In corporate news, Novartis AG (NVS) eased 0.17%, trimming earlier losses of some 2% and nearing its 52-week high, after its plea for patent protection of its cancer drug Glivec, was rejected by India's top court - a move likely to boost the prospects of Indian pharmaceutical firms over their foreign rivals, Reuters reported.
Power Play -
Consumer ETFs were weaker: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) were lower but near their 52-week highs, down 0.20% and 0.29%, resepctively; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), was down 0.52%, with a new 52-week high of $85.60.
In sector news, Tesla Motors (TSLA) continued to log gains in mid-day action, and was up 21.34% at a new 52-week high of $46.68 after it reported that sales of its Model S vehicle exceeded the target, with vehicle deliveries (sales) exceeding 4,750 units versus the 4,500 unit prior outlook. As a result, the company is amending its first quarter guidance to full profitability, both GAAP and non-GAAP.
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