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), Microsoft ( MSFT) 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.