Active broad-market exchange-traded funds in Wednesday's regular
SPDR S&P 500 (
): -0.10%, with a new record high
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (
): +1.19%, with a 3-year high
iShares Russell 2000 Index (
PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 (
): -0.70%, touched a 14-year high
iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index (
): +3.07%, reached a 3-year high
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV
were mostly higher pre-bell, and most were still near or hit record
and multi-year highs. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (
) was up 0.23%. Financial sectors ETFs were among the most active
after the European Central Bank unexpectedly cut interest rates.
Russia-related bull fund RUSL was among the worse performing among
ongoing tension with Ukraine, while Russia bear-focused fund RUSS
was among the biggest gainers.
U.S. stock futures are pointing to a higher open after the
European Central Bank unexpectedly cut interest rates to ward off
the threat of inflation. The benchmark rate was lowered to 0.05
percent and the deposit rate is now minus 0.2 percent. The decision
sent the euro lower, but stocks and bonds in the eurozone were
trading higher. The U.K. also opted to keep its rates at the
current record low levels.
Among U.S. economic data, ADP payrolls released at 8.15 ET
Thursday increased 204,000, missing forecasts for 223,000 in August
compared to 218,000 previously and relative to the 230,000 forecast
for August nonfarm payrolls. Also out today, U.S. initial jobless
claims for the week ended August 30 rose to 302,000 compared with
forecasts for 300,000, while U.S. non-farm productivity just missed
at 2.3% versus the consensus for a gain of 2.4%.
Power Play: Financial
Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was unchanged and hit a
six-year high Wednesday. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares
(FAS) was up 0.8% and hit a record Wednesday. Its bearish
counterpart, FAZ, was down 1%.
Northstar Realty Finance (NRF) said late Wednesday it commenced
an underwritten public offering of 45 million shares of common
stock, of which a minimum of 22.5 million shares will be subject to
the forward sale agreement. The underwriters are expected to be
granted a 30-day option to purchase up to 6.75 million additional
shares of common stock. The shares declined 2.5% pre-bell.
Winners and Losers
Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), iShares Dow Jones US
Technology ETF (IYW), iShares S&P North American Technology ETF
(IGM) and iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index
(IGV) were are inactive pre-market, but closed lower Wednesday
after touching multi-year highs during the session. SPDR S&P
International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) bucked the trend to end
in the green, but was also flat pre-market.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and
Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) were unchanged and ended
Mitek Systems (MITK) shares soared in Thursday's pre-market
session, after the provider of mobile-imaging software services for
financial transactions late Wednesday said it and financial company
USAA have agreed to settle all pending litigation between them.
MITK was up 77% at $4.20 in recent
, in a 52-week range of $2.15 to $7.11.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was flat; Energy Select Sector
SPDR (XLE) was up 0.1%.
Chevron Phillips Chemical, equally owned by petroleum and
chemical firm Chevron (CVX) and energy logistics company Phillips
66 (PSX), has signed an agreement to sell its Ryton polyphenylene
sulfide (PPS) business to Solvay Specialty Polymers for $220
million. The transaction is expected to be completed in Q4
Included in the acquisition are Chevron Phillips' resin
manufacturing assets in Borger, Texas, its pilot plant along with
its PPS research and development assets in Bartlesville, Oklahoma,
its compounding plant in Kallo-Beveren, Belgium, and certain
Crude was down 0.6%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.3%.
Natural gas was tipping higher, up 005% and United States Natural
Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.3%.
Gold was flat, while silver was up 0.2%. Among rare metal funds,
SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.15% and iShares Silver Trust (SLV)
was down 0.22%.
Health Care SPDR (XLV), iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH)
and Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) were flat and hit record highs
Wednesday. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was
lower Wednesday and unchanged so far pre-bell.
In company news, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) said Thursday it
will fast-track development of a promising new vaccine regime
against Ebola in an effort to combat the current Ebola
The company will work together with Denmark-based biotech
company Bavarian Nordic and the National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases. The parties plan to initiate human trials in
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), iShares Dow Jones US
Consumer Goods (IYK), and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) were
mixed Wednesday and unchanged pre-market. They remain near record
or multi-year highs.
Mattress Firm Holding (MFRM), a mattress retailer, Thursday
reported fiscal Q2 adjusted earnings above analysts' expectations
and unveiled a deal to buy Sleep Train, a West Coast bedding
retailer, for an aggregate purchase price of $425 million.
For the 13 weeks ended July 29, the company posted net income of
$14.3 million, or $0.41 per diluted share, from $14.1 million, or
$0.41 per diluted share, in the 13 weeks ended July 30, 2013. On an
adjusted basis, it earned $0.61 per share in the latest period, up
from $0.43 per share a year earlier and topping the $0.60 per share
expected on average by analysts polled by Capital IQ.
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