Active broad-market exchange-traded funds at mid-day:
SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +1%
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +1.6%
iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): +1%
Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF ): +1.2%, nearer to year highs
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ( VXX ): -5%
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, are firmer. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) is up 1.3%.
U.S. stocks are extending their gains as investors digest a slew of mostly upbeat economic data. The ISM index rose to 51.7%, exceeding economists' forecasts. And the consumer-confidence index increased to 72.2 last month from a downwardly revised 68.4 in September, slightly below expectations. Earlier, ADP reported that 158,000 private-sector jobs were created in October; weekly initial jobless claims fell by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 363,000, a little below the expected decline to 365,000; and preliminary U.S. productivity rose 1.9% in the third quarter, compared with the forecast of a 2% growth. Outside the U.S., markets saw support from economic data from China, showing a firming in manufacturing activity as the private sector PMI rose to its highest level in eight months.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) is up 1% and nearer to year highs. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is up 3.2%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is down 3.3%.
Among financial stocks, Radian Group (RDN) is up 13% after the credit enhancement company reported Q3 net income of $0.11 per diluted share, compared to net income of $ $1.37 per diluted share in the yoy quarter. The result easily beat analysts' expectations which, according to Yahoo Finance called for a loss of $0.48 per share.
Tech ETFs are in the green in mid-day action: Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), up 1.5%; iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), up 1.7%; iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), up 1.8% and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV), up 2%.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) is up 2.5% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) up 2.6%. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) is flat.
In sector news, Cirrus Logic (CRUS) is down near 10%, pulling back from earlier losses of 15%. Shares were weaker despite the company's report of better-than-expected FQ2 results. In Q2, CRUS pulled in revenue of $194 mln, vs. the analyst consensus of $180.69 mln. EPS was $0.79, vs. expectations of $0.71 per share. For Q3, the company expects revenue of $270 to $300 mln, vs. expectations of $233.8 mln.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is up 0.6%. Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) is up 0.2%.
In sector news, Exxon Mobil (XOM) has turned slightly negative again - it has been fluctuating - after reporting Q3 EPS of $2.09, ahead of expectations of $1.93 per share, if comparable.
Crude was up 0.92%; natural gas, on the other hand, was down 0.13%. United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 1%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) is down 0.5%. Gold was down 0.07% while silver was up 0.17%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.4%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is now down 0.1%.
Among stocks, Barrick Gold (ABX) continues to slip lower, now down 8.52% after it reported Q3 earnings of $0.85 per share, below the Capital IQ consensus of $1.01. Revenues were $3.44 bln, missing the analyst estimate of $3.64 bln.
Healthcare ETFs are firmer at mid-day: Health Care SPDR (XLV), up 0.8% to within around $1 of year highs; Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), up 0.7%; and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), up 0.8%. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) is up 1.5%.
In corporate news, ABIOMED (ABMD) is down 30% and has touched a new year low of $13.27, after the company disclosed that the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia is conducting an investigation focusing on the company's marketing and labeling of the Impella 2.5. ABMD said it is in the process of responding to the subpoena and that it intends to cooperate fully.
ABMD also reported Q2 EPS of $0.20, ex one-time items, beating the Capital IQ consensus estimate of $0.09. Revenues of $37.4 mln fell in line with the consensus of $37.3 mln.
Power Play -
The sector is mixed as automakers and retailers report mixed sales for the month of October. Consumer ETFs are modestly higher: Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.2%; iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), up 0.9%; and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), up 0.2%.
Retail ETFs are much firmer: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), up 1.3%; PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), up 0.6%; and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH), up 0.2%, with a new year high of $44.92.
In automakers, General Motors (GM) is down 0.8% after it reported its highest October sales in the United States since 2007, with deliveries up 5% versus a year ago to 195,764 vehicles. Total October vehicle sales grew 4.7% year-over-year, versus an estimate of 7.2%, according to StreetInsider. Year-over-year sales to retail customers were up 7% and sales to fleet customers were down 2%.
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