Active broad-market exchange-traded funds in Wednesday's regular session:
SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -1.5%
iPath S&P 500 VIX ST Futures ETN ( VXX ): +6.4%
Invesco QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): -2.1%
iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): -2%
SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): -1.3%
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including IWM and IVV were lower. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was down 2.1%.
US stocks were sharply lower at session's half as selling pressure continued to sweep across US and European equity markets with worries about an environment of higher interest rates fueling a 400+ point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average -- the blue chip index's worst day in more than three months.
The feeding frenzy in the tech sector continued leaving the Nasdaq more than 2% lower and flirting with support at its 200-day moving average for the first time since February.
In economic data news, wholesale inventories climbed 1.0% versus forecasts for an increase of 0.8%, with sales up 0.8% in August. The August inventory number was up 0.8% in the Advance print. There was no revision to July's 0.6% inventory gain, though July sales were nudged up to 0.2% from unchanged.
Earlier, the producer price index for September rose 0.2%, matching expectations. In the previous month, producer prices fell 0.1%. Excluding food, energy and trade margins, the so-called core rate of wholesale inflation rose 0.4%.
Power Play: Technology
Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was down 2.9% and other tech funds 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 in the red.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was down 2.3% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down 1.9%.
Imperva (IMPV) rose nearly 28% following an announcement that the cybersecurity firm will be bought by technology investment company Thoma Bravo in a $2.1 billion deal. When the $55.75-per-share transaction closes, Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Imperva will be privately held, "with the flexibility to focus on execution and drive to be a world-class profitable growth company," according to a statement on Wednesday. Imperva's board of directors has already approved the deal. Imperva will join a slate of Thoma Bravo investments including Compuware Corp., a software firm, the McAfee cybersecurity company, and TravelClick, which makes software for hotels.
Winners and Losers
The Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 1.1%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 3.6% and its bearish counterpart Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X shares (FAZ) was up 3.7%.
AllianceBernstein Holding L.P (AB) fell more than 1% after it reported that its preliminary assets under management decreased to $550 billion during September 2018 from $551 billion at the end of August. The company attributed the 0.2% decline to market depreciation, partially offset by total firmwide net inflows.
Dow Jones US Energy Fund (IYE) was down 1.8% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 1.7%.
Talos Energy (TALO) fell more than 2% after reports that a consortium headed by Talos is considering a partnership with Mexican state-run company Pemex to jointly develop the Zama project in the southern portion of the Gulf of Mexico.
Crude was down 2.2%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 2%. Natural gas was down 0.2% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.5%.
Gold was up 0.1%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.03%. Silver was down 0.6%, while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.6%.
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was up 0.03% and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Consumer Goods (IYK) inched higher.
Meanwhile, Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was down 1.7% and retail funds SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were weaker.
Fastenal Company (FAST) fell nearly 6% after it reported Q3 earnings of $0.69 per share, up from $0.50 in the same period a year ago and exceeding the estimate of $0.67 from analysts polled by Capital IQ. For the quarter ended Sept. 30 total revenue of $1.28 billion was up from $1.13 billion in the same period a year ago and just beat the Street projection of $1.27 billion.
Health Care SPDR (XLV) was down 0.6% and other health care funds including Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare (IYH) were lower. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down 1.1%.
Neovasc (NVCN) rose more than 25% after the company said the US Food and Drug Administration has granted Breakthrough Device designation to 'Reducer,' a medical device for the treatment of refractory angina, which is not currently approved for commercial sale in the US.