Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Weaker on White House Exits, Energy Complex Turns Lower

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

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

PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ):-0.8%

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): -0.5%

SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): -0.5%

VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short Term ETN ( TVIX ): +2.4%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including IWM and IVV were lower. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was down 0.8%.

U.S. stocks were lower at session's half, with major market averages mostly negative as early gains tied to market-friendly inflation data unravelled following more White House departures and a steep sell-off in oil futures.

Selling erupted after President Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, a second high-profile White House exit in less than a week. Selling was briefly suspended on news pro-trade advocate Larry Kudlow was at the top of the list for economic advisor Gary Cohn's job, but resumed as the S&P 500 hit 2,800 and as oil futures turned lower.

In economic data news, the consumer price index rose 0.2% in February after a 0.5% increase in January, and compared with forecasts for a 0.2% advance.

Meanwhile, the February National Federation of Independent Business small business optimism index rose 0.7 points to 107.6 -- the second highest level n the report's 45-year history, from 106.9 in January.

Power Play: Technology

Tech funds 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 weaker, even as most funds reached or neared multi-year highs. Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was down 0.9% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down 0.5%.

Qualcomm (QCOM) tumbled almost 6% after Broadcom's (AVGO) proposal takeover of the specialty chipmaker was blocked by President Donald Trump. Trump cited "credible evidence" the deal "threatens to impair the national security of the United States. AVGO shares rose almost 1%.

Winners and Losers


The Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 0.4%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 0.9% and its bearish counterpart Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X shares (FAZ) was up 0.9%.

Willis Lease Finance Corp (WLFC) rose marginally, but hit a record high after the specialty lender reported a 50.4% rise in pre-tax income to $36.0 million compared with $23.9 million during the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2016.


Dow Jones US Energy Fund (IYE) was down 0.2% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 0.1%.

Graham Corp (GHM) fell almost 1% after the capital equipment supplier for the petroleum industry disclosed new orders from three refiner companies totaling $5.5 million in value.


Crude was down 1.2%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 1.1%. Natural gas was up 0.04% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.2%.

Gold was up 0.5%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.3%. Silver was up 0.5%, while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.5%.

Health Care

Health care funds Health Care SPDR (XLV), Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare (IYH), were firmer. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down 0.2%.

Epizyme (EPZM) rose more than 3% after the oncology drugmaker reported a Q4 loss of $0.52, down from $0.60 a year ago, and beating the Street view for a loss of $0.57, as compiled by Capital IQ. Epizyme reported no revenue. In guidance, the company said it expects that its existing cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities at yearend will be sufficient to fund its planned operations into Q3 of 2019. Epizyme's lead drug candidate is tazemetostat, which is used to treat patients with solid tumors and hematological malignancies.


Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Consumer Goods (IYK) were lower.

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 in the green.

Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) fell 2% after the retailer reported Q4 net income of $1.22 per share, down from $1.32 for the same period last year, but ahead of the Capital IQ consensus forecast of $1.20. Revenue for the quarter was $2.66 billion, up from $2.48 billion in the year-ago quarter, but below the analyst forecast of $2.73 billion. For full-year 2018, the company said it expects earnings per diluted share in a range of $2.80 to $3.00, straddling the $2.88 per share consensus, while consolidated same store sales are expected to be flat to a low single-digit decline. It also plans on opening 19 new stores, and relocate four in 2018, with eight of the new stores expected to open during Q1. The company said it does not expect to open any new Field & Stream or Golf Galaxy stores in 2018. Because of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, the company's earnings per diluted share guidance assumes an effective tax rate of approximately 26%.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2016 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

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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