Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Turn Higher as Mostly Upbeat Earnings Buoy Sentiment

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

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund (EEM): +0.8%

SPDR S&P 500 (SPY): +0.1%

SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial (XLF): +1.1%

ishares Gold Trust (IAU): -1%

VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX): -1.7%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including IWM and IVV were higher. Actively-traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was down 0.4%.

US stocks turned higher at session's half, with all three major indexes close to their record highs, as investors, on balance, took a positive view of the first-quarter earnings so far and as central bankers sounded a dovish note on monetary policy, pushing up bond yields.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) increased more than 2%, the biggest gainer in the DJIA index, after the company reported first-quarter results that handily beat the Street's estimates and the company also raised its guidance for the full-year 2019 adjusted earnings, forecasting ahead of the market consensus.

Bank of America (BAC) also reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings, with the lender saying businesses and consumers are continuing to borrow money amid solid US economic activity. While BlackRock (BLK) reported declines in first-quarter results as revenue was weighed down by lower fees, the outcome was still ahead of Wall Street's expectations.

In economic data news, March industrial production fell 0.1%, missing consensus for a gain of 0.3%, after a revised 0.1 increase in February. Capacity utilization slipped to 78.8%, missing expectations for 79.1% and down from the prior revised 79%.

And, the April National Association of Home Builders housing market index rose 1 point to 63, as expected, after a steady 62 reading in March.

Power Play: Financial

Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was up 1.1%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 1%; Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X Shares (FAZ) was down 0.9%.

BlackRock (BLK) was up more than 2% after it reported Q1 adjusted earnings of $6.61 per share, down from $6.70 in the same period a year ago and exceeding the estimate of $6.13 from analysts polled by Capital IQ. Total revenue of $3.35 billion was down from $3.58 billion in the same period a year ago and topped the Street projection of $3.30 billion.

Winners and Losers


Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was up 0.4%; 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 firmer.

Semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 1.6% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 1.6%.

Netflix (NFLX) shares advanced more than 3% ahead of the company's earnings, out due late on Tuesday, and as Deutsche Bank and BMO Capital lifted their respective price targets for the shares to $400 from $360 and $470 from $440, respectively.


Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.5% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.4%.

ConocoPhillips (COP) fell marginally after it said late Monday that it has completed the sale of its 30% stake in the Greater Sunrise Fields to the government of Timor-Leste for $350 million, plus customary adjustments. The fields are located in the Timor Sea and the sale includes ConocoPhillips' interest in two production licenses and two retention leases, the company added.


Crude was down 0.3%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.3%. Natural gas was down 0.7% and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.6%.

Gold was down 1%, and SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 1%. Silver was down 0.3% and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.1%.


Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was down 0.2% while iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) were in the red.

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was up 0.5% and SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) , PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were higher.

Caesars Entertainment (CZR), a provider of casino entertainment and hospitality services, said Tuesday that its board has appointed Anthony Rodio as chief executive officer. Rodio most recently served as CEO of Affinity Gaming. The company also said it has formed a transaction committee to evaluate various options for enhancing shareholder value for the company, including continuing to operate as an independent public company. CZR shares rose nearly 2%.

Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV) was down 1% and other funds iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) and Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) were lower. Meanwhile, Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down 0.1%.

Rexahn Pharmaceuticals (RNN) shares were up more than 24% after the biopharmaceutical company said it has established a collaboration with and granted an exclusive licence to BioSense Global to develop and commercialize RX-3117 for pancreatic and other cancers in China. Rexahn said it will receive an upfront payment and will be eligible to receive additional development, regulatory and commercial milestones up to $226 million. The company also said it will be eligible to receive tiered royalties in the low double digits to mid-teens on annual net sales in the territory. BioSense will fund all activities related to the development and commercialization of RX-3117 in greater China and will start a mid-stage study to evaluate the drug candidate in up to three additional indications not previously studied by Rexahn.

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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