X Techs led the upside as PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQ) rose 0.4%, but SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) slipped 0.2% and SPDR Dow Jones industrial average (DIA) gave up 0.6%. QQQ is in new high territory as it aims to extend its win streak to seven.
Telecom, semiconductor and homebuilder ETFs were among the biggest sector fund gainers in the stock market today. VanEck Vectors Semiconductor (SMH) advanced 1.1%, on track for its seventh straight advance. IShares PHLX Semiconductor (SOXX) also added 1.1% and is working on a seven-session win streak.
Graphics chip designer and artificial intelligence player Nvidia (NVDA) surged 2% to a record high. Jefferies reiterated a buy rating and 300 price target on Nvidia and cited Steven Spielberg’s upcoming virtual reality-related film, “Ready Player One” as a potential driver.
But Intel (INTC), down 1.8%, was one of the Dow’s biggest losers. The chip giant is 1% off its Friday high and is trading at its highest levels since September 2000. It rallied 7% last week. Boeing, the biggest blue chip decliner, sank 2.8%. The jet maker is holding above its 50-day line; shares have been in an overall uptrend since late 2016.
Apple, up 0.7% to mark an all-time high, was one of the biggest blue-chip gainers. The iPhone maker is trying to stay above 180, where it had been hitting resistance for much of the past two months. Among other blue chips, General Electric (GE) rose 0.8% as it climbs from multiyear lows. Goldman Sachs rose 1.2% to a new record high. The banking giant named David Solomon sole president and COO, making him the front-runner to replace current CEO Lloyd Blankfein.
Industrials, banks and retail lagged. Bitcoin slid 3.3% to $9,218.34, according to CoinDesk, after earlier rising to as high as $9.885.22. But Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) climbed 3%. Thomson Reuters launched a new sentiment tracker that gauges how investors are feeling about the cryptocurrency.
Banking On Banks?
SPDR S&P Regional Banking (KRE) was the top-performing financial exchange traded fund, based on its year-to-date gain of 9.1% through Tuesday. The $5.4 billion fund, which tracks the S&P Regional Banks Select Industry Index, counts Puerto Rico-based Popular (BPOP), Comerica (CMA) and Regions Financial (RF) among its top holdings. The top 10 accounted for roughly a quarter of assets in the 116-stock portfolio.
KRE is extended from a recent bounce off its 50-day moving average and is trading at record highs.
IShares U.S. Regional Banks (IAT) came in second with an 8.9% year-to-date return. The $934.6 million fund tracks the Dow Jones U.S. Select Regional Banks Index. The ETF’s top holdings include U.S. Bancorp (USB), PNC Financial Services (PNC) and BB&T (BBT). The top 10 names in the 53-stock portfolio represented 61% of total net assets.
Like KRE, IAT is extended from a rebound off its 50-day line and in new-high territory.
Third place went to iShares U.S. Broker-Dealers & Securities Exchanges (IAI) with an 8.1% year-to-date gain. It’s a slight departure from pure-play bank funds. The $249.6 million ETF, which tracks the Dow Jones U.S. Select Investment Services Index, provides exposure to U.S. investment banks, discount brokerages and stock exchanges. Goldman Sachs, CME Group (CME) and TD Ameritrade (AMTD) are among its top 10 holdings — which accounted for more than 60% of the 27-stock portfolio.
IAI rallied to a new high on Friday and is extended from a rebound off its 50-day line.
So, what’s not extended? First Trust Nasdaq Bank (FTXO), tied for fourth with a 7.9% return for 2018, is near the top of a buy range from a pullback to the 50-day line. It’s also shaped a flat base with a potential buy point at 32.25. The $1.4 billion fund tracks the Nasdaq U.S. Smart Banks Index. PNC Financial, JPMorgan and Citigroup (C) make up part of its top 10 holdings.
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