Exchange-traded funds tracking homebuilders were among the worst performers of a mixed session Thursday, as traders booked profits on housing stocks that have surged so far this week.
Oil-related ETFs were also on the decline, as crude continued its multi-session freefall that has lopped nearly 4% off prices. Lately, the November front-month crude contract was shedding 14 cents to $79.80.The Ultra Oil & Gas ProShares (DIG) was losing $1, or 0.9%, to $109.18. The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Oil Equipment Index (IEZ) was down 45 cents, or 0.7%, to $63.99. The Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) slid 44 cents, or 0.6%, to $74.03. Bundled securities tracking the chip sector were also under pressure, a day after Micron's (MU) disappointing quarter and Merrill Lynch's bearish coverage of Intel (INTC), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Nvidia (NVDA). The Ultra Semiconductor ProShares (USD) eased 89 cents, or 1%, to $86.86. The Semiconductor HOLDRs (SMH) was down 19 cents, or 0.5%, to $37.97. The iShares S&P GSTI Semiconductor (IGW) was shedding 36 cents, or 0.5%, to $67.17. On the other hand, utility-related ETFs were among the few winners. Among individual names, FirstEnergy (FE), Exelon (EXC), Entergy (ETR) and Edison International (EIX) were all higher. The Ultra Utilities ProShares (UPW) was up $1.12, or 1.4%, to $82.44. The Utilities HOLDRs (UTH) was rising $1.35, or 0.9%, to $147.75. The PowerShares FTSE RAFI Utilities (PRFU) added 49 cents, or 0.9%, to $58.02.