Active broad-market exchange-traded funds:
SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.5%
PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): -0.66%
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): -0.83%
Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): +0.13%
iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): -0.42%
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, are weaker. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) is down 0.66%.
U.S. stocks have cut some of their losses, but are still weighed down by Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) earlier report that its results included a $8.8 billion write-down stemming from "serious accounting improprieties" at Autonomy, a software company it bought in 2011. Earnings reports from other companies such as Best Buy (BBY) were also lackluster. Market sentiment was buoyed by a report that construction of new homes jumped 3.6% in October to its highest rate since July 2008, but optimism has since been overshadowed by Moody's downgrade of France's credit rating to Aa1 and concerns over the fighting between Israel and Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip in the Middle East.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) is up 0.32%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is up 0.4%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is down 0.3%.
Among financial actives, Eaton Vance (EV) is up 3.4%, touching fresh new year highs. The company reported Q4 earnings of $0.53 per share, ex one-time items, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.48. Revenues were $309.89 mln, versus the analyst estimate of $301.09 mln. In the same period last year, the company reported EPS of $0.47 on revenues of $297.32 mln.
Tech ETFs are weaker: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), down 0.9%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), down 0.9%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), down 0.49%; and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), down 1.2%.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is flat while Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) is down 1.1%.
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is up 0.72%.
In sector news, Daktronics (DAKT) is up near 14% after reporting Q2 earnings of $0.27 per share, ex one-time items, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.15. Revenues were $149.9 mln, versus the analyst estimate of $142.78 mln. The company said that it expects sales and gross profit margins for the rest of the year to lag those of the first half of the year.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is down 0.55%; Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) is down 0.75%.
In sector news, Hyperdynamics Corporation's (HDY) wholly owned subsidiary SCS Corporation Ltd has entered into an agreement with Tullow Guinea Ltd., a subsidiary of Tullow Oil plc, for the sale of a 40% gross interest in Hyperdynamics' oil and gas exploration concession offshore Guinea and the transfer of operatorship to Tullow. HDY is down 8%, nearing 52-week lows.
Crude was down 3.16%; natural gas was up 2.08%. United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 2.9%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) is up 1.69%.
Gold was down 0.52%; silver was down 0.67%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.455%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 0.47%.
Despite gapping lower, an earlier report on Bloomberg stated that gold had upbeat prospects in 2013. According to the report, the stimulus from the central bank has encouraged investors to "accumulate the highest combined bullion holdings ever."
According to Bloomberg analysts, gold will rise in every quarter in 2013, averaging at $1,925 an ounce in the final quarter. Investment firm Paulson & Co. has a $3.67 billion bet through the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), and Soros Fund Management LLC increased its holdings by 49% in the third quarter, Bloomberg added, citing SEC filings.
Healthcare ETFs are higher in mid-day action: Health Care SPDR (XLV), flat; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), flat; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), up 0.26%. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) is up 1.2%.
In corporate news, OXiGENE (OXGN) is up 10% from near year lows after it reported the results of its Phase 2 trial of ZYBRESTAT (fosbretabulin) in patients with polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV), a disease involving abnormal blood vessels of the macula characterized by recurrent serosanguinous detachment of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), submacular hemorrhage and development of subretinal polyps with resulting vision loss.
Power Play -
Consumer ETFs are firmer: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), now down 0.4%; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), up 0.26%; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), down 0.45%.
Retail ETFs are mostly higher: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), down 0.74%; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), up 0.5%; and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), now down after earlier hitting a new year high of $44.13.
In sector news, DSW (DSW) is up 8.8% and has hit a new 52-week high of $69.35. The footwear and accessories specialty retailer reported earlier Q3 earnings of $1.02 per share, ex one-time items, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.89. Revenues were $592.7 mln, versus the analyst estimate of $588.52 mln. Comparable sales increased 6.3%. DSW also reiterates its FY12 EPS guidance of $3.30 - $3.40, ex one time item, versus the consensus of $3.35. Comparable sales are expected to grow in the mid-single digit range, which includes an estimated sales impact from Hurricane Sandy.
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