Merrill Lynch (MER ) posted a first-quarter loss this morning, but so far the broker-dealers exchange traded fund (ETF) seems to be keeping quiet.

The world’s largest brokerage said it would cut 3,000 jobs after more than $6.5 billion in fresh write-downs. It’s the third consecutive quarterly loss, reports Joe Bel Bruno for the Associated Press. The firm’s CEO went on to warn that the next few quarters could be similarly rough.

Yesterday, the Financial Select Sector SPDRs (XLF) rose for the third consecutive trading day. It’s up slightly today, as well – will the winning streak continue? Merrill Lynch is 2% of the fund. Year-to-date it’s down 11.3%.

The iShares Dow Jones US Broker-Dealers (IAI) is down just 0.05% midday, and year-to-date it’s off by 23.8%. Merrill Lynch is 6.5% of the fund.


Pfizer (PFE) reported that is first-quarter profit fell by 18%, because of generic drug competition, says the Associated Press. The numbers were short of estimates. The company also was hurt by the loss of patent protections for drugs such as Norvasc and Zyrtec. The world’s best-selling drug, Lipitor, is going to lose its patent protection in 2010. It’s a key source of revenue for the company.

Pfizer is 17.6% of the Pharmaceutical HOLDRs (PPH), which are down just over 1% midday. Year-to-date, it’s down 10.8%.