Mid-Day ETFs: ETFs, Stocks Drop Amid Uncertainty Over U.S. President Trump's Policies

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

Direxion Daily Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares ( NUGT ): +6.38%

Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares ( JNUG ): +6.78%

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): +0.9%

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.49%

SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): -0.65%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV were edging lower. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was down 0.4%. U.S. stocks were in the red at session's half, with losses across the three benchmark indexes amid uncertainty over U.S. President Donald Trump's policies and mixed quarterly results.

No major economic data were due this morning so investors are focusing on a Trump news briefing at 1:30 pm ET.

Power Play: Gold

Gold ETFs rose as gold prices rose to a two-month high as investors sought safer assets amid uncertainty around Trump's economic policies and as the U.S. dollar declined against other major currencies. According to Bloomberg, holdings in gold-backed ETFs climbed for the fifth day in a row by 0.9 tons. GLD was last up 0.86%.

Winners and Losers


Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 0.93%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 1.61% and its bearish counterpart, FAZ was up 1.63%.

Preferred Bank (PFBC) was softer at midday, giving back an earlier increase to an eight-year high on Monday made after analysts at FBR & Co. raised their price target for the commercial bank company by $5 to $65 a share and reiterated their Outperform rating for the stock.


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 softer. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was just higher.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was down 0.82% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down 0.93%.

Qualcomm (QCOM) was down 12.36% following news Friday that it is being sued by Apple (AAPL) for roughly $1 billion, with Apple saying Qualcomm has been "charging royalties for technologies they have nothing to do with."

Apple also alleged that once it began cooperating with Korean authorities' antitrust investigation of Qualcomm, the company withheld $1 billion in retaliation. In a retort Monday, Qualcomm general counsel Don Rosenberg said, "while we are still in the process of reviewing the complaint in detail, it is quite clear that Apple's claims are baseless," adding that Apple has "intentionally mischaracterized our agreements and negotiations, as well as the enormity and value of the technology we have invented, contributed and shared with all mobile device makers through our licensing program."

Qualcomm said the suit was baseless, but analysts at Nomura and CLSA still downgraded the shares this morning.

Finisar (FNSR) dropped after Rosenblatt Securities said Huawei disqualified one of the company's products for delivery, which could hit revenues by $20 million in the calendar March quarter.


Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was down 1.48% while Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 1.4% at midday.

Centrus Energy Corp (LEU) rose Monday after the uranium miner said that with slightly more than a week left in its notes exchange offer, holders of its 8.0% payment-in-kind toggle notes due 2019 or 2024 already have tendered $161.8 million, or almost 77%, of the notes needed for the exchange to proceed.


Crude was down 1.09%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.88%. Natural gas was up 0.87% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 0.99%.

Gold was up 1.04%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.75%. Silver was up 1.02% while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.49%.


Consumer staples funds Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) were all slightly lower.

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was down 0.26%. Retail funds SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were lower.

AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC) was lower in mid-day trading after the movie-theater chain further expanded its European presence. It said it was acquiring Stockholm-based Nordic Cinema Group, the largest theater chain in Scandinavia, for $929 million in cash.

McDonald's (MCD) dipped despite the company's beating Q4 estimates. It said Q4 EPS was $1.44, up from $1.31 a year earlier and higher than GAAP expectations for $1.42. Excluding a negative impact of $0.03 per share, earnings were $1.47 per share, also above the consensus for an adjusted profit of $1.41.

Revenues fell to $6.03 billion from $6.34 billion a year earlier but just beat the $6.00 billion average estimate.

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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