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Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Turn Positive As Wall Street Looks Ahead to Earnings Season, Geopolitical Concerns Recede

April 17, 2017
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Active broad-market exchange-traded funds in Monday’s regular session:

SPDR Select Sector Fund – Financial ( XLF ): +0.9%

Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares ( JNUG ): -4%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN ( VXX ): -1.6%

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.3%

Direxion Daily Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares ( NUGT ): -0.3%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV were higher. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.3%.

U.S. stocks turned higher at session’s half, as investors shook off worries over recent geopolitical tensions, and ahead of the start of the earnings season.

The Empire State manufacturing index tumbled to 5.20 from 16.4 in March, the largest one-month decline in nearly a year. Additionally, the National Association of Home Builder’s housing market index backed up to 68 in April from 71 in March, missing 70 estimates.

Power Play: Health Care

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

Shares of diagnostic-test maker Alere (ALR) rose 16.1% after it agreed to be acquired by Abbott (ABT) for a lower price than it previously offered, ending a legal battle between the companies. Under amended terms of the agreement, Abbott will pay $51 per common share to acquire Waltham, Massachusetts-headquartered Alere, for a new expected equity value of approximately $5.3 billion, down from an originally expected equity value of approximately $5.8 billion, according to a statement published on Abbott’s website on Friday. The statement added that the companies had also agreed to dismiss their respective lawsuits. ABT shares were up 1%.

Winners and Losers

Financial

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 0.9%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 2.2%, while its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 2.4%.

Funds managed by The Blackstone Group’s (BX) Energy Partners and Capital Partners have agreed to buy EagleClaw Midstream Ventures for $2 billion, EagleClaw and its financial sponsor EnCap Flatrock Midstream said Monday. The deal is expected to close by end July 2017 and includes approximately $1.25 billion in stapled debt financing provided by Jefferies LLC. EagleClaw’s assets are located in Reeves, Ward and Culberson counties and include more than 375 miles of natural gas gathering pipelines and 320 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of processing capacity with an additional 400 MMcf/d under construction. BX was up 0.4%.

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. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was up 0.2%.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 1% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 0.9%.

Yandex N.V (YNDX) shares rose 7.5% after the internet search engine company said that the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia has approved a settlement of a two-year old antitrust case related to Alphabet’s (GOOGL, GOOG) Google Android operating system. GOOGL shares were up 1.4%.

Energy

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was flat and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 0.1%.

Emerge Energy Services (EMES) was up 2.3% after it said that it has acquired Osburn Materials, a local sand producer based outside of San Antonio Texas, for about $20 million. Osburn Materials currently has production capacity for 600,000 tons per year of wet sand and 300,000 tons per year of finished dry sand. The company plans to upgrade the Osburn site into a much larger operation, which is expected to produce at a rate of 300,000 tons per year.

Commodities

Crude was down 0.8%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.5%. Natural gas was down 0.7% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 1%.

Gold was up 0.2%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.1%. Silver was up 0.03% while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.1%.

Consumer

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) and other consumer staples funds Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) were firmer.

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.

Snyder’s-Lance (LNCE) was down 16.6% after it said it expects fiscal Q1 revenue in the range of $530 million to $532 million, short of the $551.1 million expected by analysts polled by Capital IQ while adjusted EPS in the quarter ended April 1 is expected to be between $0.13 and $0.14, missing the Street projection of $0.27. The company also revised its full year revenue guidance to a range of $2.20 billion to $2.25 billion from a prior range of $2.25 billion to $2.29 billion. Analysts have been expecting revenues of $2.27 billion. The FY adjusted EPS guidance was revised to a range of $1.05 to $1.20 from a prior range of $1.32 to $1.42. Analysts have been expecting FY adjusted EPS of $1.38.

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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