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ETF Action: Biotech ETFs in the Limelight

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Lackluster trading interest ahead of the July 4 holidays kept ETF action muted on Friday, despite disappointing job numbers and factory order data.

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) ended the day down 0.54% to $102.02. Volumes picked up towards the later half of the trading session but were still below the average 271 million. Other popular ETFs, including the PowerShares QQQ (QQQQ) and SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) were also trading weak on light volumes.

Factory orders declined 1.4% in June, posting the biggest drop in nine months. The news helped push the Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) down 1.61% to $26.91. But the fund recovered in later trading to end flat.

Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) shed 1.17% to $13.52 on weak data, led by declines in Bank of America (BAC) and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B), two if its top holdings.

Biotech ETFs were in the limelight on an otherwise dull trading day. Stocks of Biogen (BIIB), Genzyme (GENZ) and Allergan (AGN) are up on speculation that they may be possible takeover targets for Sanofi Aventis (SNY). The SPDR S&P Biotech Fund (XBI) was among the ETFs that attracted buying interest in morning trading, climbing 1.57% to $51.36. But it ultimately gave up its gains in later trading and ended the trading session up 0.70%.

Biotech HOLDRs (BBH) was a major gainer, climbing 1.94% at $87.87. First Trust NYSE Arca Biotech Fund (FBT) and PowerShares Dynamic Biotech & Genome (PBE) also attracted interest.

The PowerShares DB Base Metal fund (DBB) witnessed early interest gaining over 1 % in the morning session before cooling off later in the day to close up 0.84% at $18.01. The fund has an exposure to industrial metals copper, aluminum and zinc.

-- Reported by Shanthi Venkataraman in New York.

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FBT $91.11 -2.60%
SPY $206.93 -0.25%
XBI $53.70 -2.60%
XLF $23.34 -0.45%
BBH $106.27 -2.66%


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