Global uncertainty over issues in Iran, Iraq, Bombay and North Korea continued to move gold higher, sending shares in ETFs that track the precious metal up. The streetTRACKS Gold Shares (GLD) ETF rose 64 cents, or 1%, to $64.45. The iShares COMEX Gold Trust (IAU) ETF, meanwhile, advanced 50 cents, or 0.8%, to $64.49. Gold for August delivery touched as high as $657 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was recently trading up $5.90 to $649.
The Biotech HOLDRs Trust (BBH) was down 1.2% following the earnings reports of two of its biggest components, Genzyme (GENZ) and Genentech (DNA). Genzyme shares were higher by 8% after the company's earnings topped estimates. Genentech's profit also was above expectations, but shares were down 3.7% after sales of the cancer drug Avastin missed forecasts. The Biotech HOLDRs Trust recently was down $2.46 to $176.52.
The Nasdaq 100 Trust (QQQQ) slid 2% as some of its biggest holdings headed lower during late-afternoon trading. Dell (DELL) was recently down $1.05, or 4%, to $22.37. Qualcomm (QCOM), meanwhile, fell $1.46, or 4%, to $37.41. And Apple Computer (AAPL) shed $2.08 to $53.57. The Nasdaq 100 ETF was trading down 65 cents to $36.99.
The S&P Depository Receipts (SPY) ETF fell 1% as Intel (INTC - Get Report), Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) and IBM (IBM) retreated Wednesday. Intel was recently trading down 55 cents, or 3%, to $18.12. Microsoft, which was fined $357 million by the European Union Commission on Wednesday for failing to comply with a 2004 antitrust settlement, slipped 42 cents, or 2%, to $22.68. Meanwhile, IBM lost $1.53, or 2%, after JPMorgan Chase cuts its revenue target for the computer maker. Shares in the S&P ETF were recently down $1.35 to $126.06.Shares of iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate (IYR) ETF rose modestly Wednesday as several of its component stocks traded higher. Equity Office Properties Trust (EOP), which announced the acquisition of the Bertelsmann Building in New York City Wednesday morning, was recently trading up 38 cents to $37.61. ProLogis (PLD), a real estate investment trust, was recently up 51 cents, or 1%, to $54.42. The real estate ETF was recently higher by 18 cents to $73.31.