Updated from 1:00 p.m. EDT with new stock prices
Exchange-traded funds tracking technology names were among the worst performers of a losing session Wednesday, following sharp declines for shares of Amazon.com (AMZN), Altera (ALTR) and Broadcom (BRCM).
After the previous close, Internet retailer Amazon.com beat third-quarter forecasts by a penny as revenue jumped 41% from a year ago. However, gross margin declined when compared with the second quarter, and shares were dropping 11.99%.
Bundled securities tracking the Internet sector were sent tumbling. The Internet HOLDRs (HHH) was falling $2.35, or 3.49%, to $64.90. The First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index (FDN) was down 65 cents, or 2.34%, to $27.13. The Internet Infrastructure HOLDRs (IIH) was off 15 cents, or 2.61%, to $5.59.Amazon's loss also hit retail ETFs. The SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) was losing 22 cents, or 0.58%, to $37.85. The Retail HOLDRs (RTH) slumped 50 cents, or 0.51%, to $97.40. The PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) was up, however, 7 cents, or 0.41%, to $17.24. Also following Tuesday's close, chipmakers Altera and Broadcom delivered poor earnings reports, sending both stocks spiraling lower by 15% or more. The Ultra Semiconductor ProShares (USD) was losing $4.89, or 5.62%, to $82.11. The iShares S&P GTSI Semiconductor (IGW) was sinking by $2.06, or 3.06%, to $65.16. The PowerShares Dynamic Semiconductors (PSI) shed 46 cents, or 2.45%, to $18.35. Financial-related ETFs were also among the worst decliners of the day on the back of Merrill Lynch's (MER) greater-than-expected $7.9 billion writedown due to the credit crisis that plague financial markets during the summer. Merrill swung to a third-quarter continuing-operations loss of $2.24 billion, or $2.85 a share, from a year-ago profit of $3.05 billion, or $3.14 a share. The Ultra Financials ProShares (UYG - Get Report) was falling by $3.70, or 6.89%, to $50. The KBW Regional Banking (KRE) ETF was down 65 cents, or 1.58%, to $40.55. The PowerShares Dynamic Banking (PJB) was off 10 cents, or 0.48%, to $20.83. Bundled securities tracking homebuilders were hit after the National Association of Realtors said that existing home sales fell a greater-than-expected 8% to 5.04 million annualized units in September, well below expectations. The report comes a day after Centex (CTX) swung to a fiscal second-quarter loss. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders (XHB) was barely up 1 cent, or 0.05%, to $22.21 after falling earlier in the day. The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction (ITB) also recovered, up 30 cents, or 1.48%, to $20.56 after being down earlier. Oil and gas-related ETFs were among the only real winners of the session, though, following a bullish report from the Energy Department that showed that crude stocks unexpectedly dropped by 5.3 million barrels last week. Gasoline and distillate inventories also declined, compared with expectations for slight gains. Recently, the December front-month crude contract was up 60 cents to $87.10 a barrel. The United States Oil (USO) ETF was adding $2.15, or 3.27%, to $67.98. The iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil Index (OIL) was higher by $1.39, or 2.84%, to $50.28. The PowerShares DB Oil (DBO) was up 36 cents, or 1.16%, to $31.35.