ETF Open: ETFs, Futures in Positive Territory as Volatile Trading Week Closes

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Active broad-market exchange-traded funds at the start of Friday's regular session:

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.3%

Invesco QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): +0.12%

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): +0.8%

SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): +0.3%

iPath S&P 500 VIX ST Futures ETN ( VXX ): +0.6%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including IWM and IVV were higher. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was up 0.4%.

US stock futures are up after a rollercoaster week, which was shortened due to the Christmas holidays. Wednesday's gains had faded by Thursday but equities are in turn recovering those losses Friday, although the continuing partial government shutdown is still overshadowing any positive market sentiment.

Volatility in trading could extend into the new year, with worries over the upcoming earnings season as well as slowing global growth.

The data on advance trade in goods for November, which was set to be released this morning, has been postponed due to the ongoing government shutdown.

Still, the December reading for the Chicago purchasing managers index will be released at 9:45 am ET, while pending home sales for November will be reported at 10 am ET.

Power Play: Consumer

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Consumer Goods (IYK) were seeing modest volume.

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) and retail funds SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were quiet.

Electric car maker Tesla (TSLA) appears to be doing everything it can to close sales before the end of the year when tax credits on electric vehicles will go from $7,500 per unit to $3,750 in the first half of 2019, before dropping to $1,875 the following period, the New York Times reported. The company is also making available for sale vehicles that have been used as demonstration models, and others that had been assigned to customers who are planning to take delivery after Jan. 1, the newspaper reported. Under federal rules, the full tax credit is available only on the first 200,000 vehicles, with Tesla reaching that threshold in July. TSLA shares rose 0.6% in pre-market session.

Winners and Losers


The Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 0.5%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 1.9% and its bearish counterpart Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X Shares (FAZ) was down 2.2%.

KKR (KKR) in mid-2018 switched its corporate structure to a C-corporation from a partnership. The change allows passive index funds to buy shares in KKR, and the index funds have purchased about $1 billion the money manager's shares so far, reported the Financial Times. The KKR rival Blackstone (BX) is presently a publicly traded partnership, just as KKR was formerly. But Blackstone, an alternative-style money manager is actively considering a similar move, CFO Michael Chae told the Financial Times. The switch to a C-corporation does mean Blackstone would pay tax on income, but the switch is less costly than before due to Trump Administration tax reforms that reduced the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%.


Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was up 0.5% and other tech funds iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW) and iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM) were firm.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) were up. (AMZN) and Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI) have entered talks with the New York Yankees organization on a potential offer to acquire the team's YES network, according to The Wall Street Journal. YES is one of the assets The Walt Disney Company (DIS) is required to sell as part of its proposed acquisition of

21st Century Fox (FOX, FOXA). The network carries Yankee baseball and Brooklyn Nets basketball. The Yankees own 20% of YES and have the option to acquire the remaining 80%. The team has been talking to a several other potential partners, including cable operator Altice (ATUS), the report said, as Disney seeks a $5 billion to $6 billion valuation on the network.


Dow Jones US Energy Fund (IYE) was up and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) firmed.

Royal Dutch Shell's (RDS.A) said its Argentine unit will commence full-scale development of unconventional oil fields in the Vaca Muerta basin as the energy major bets on shale play to boost oil and natural gas production in the South American country. The Anglo-Dutch company will target shale oil in the six-year program that will cover Sierras Blancas, Cruz de Lorena and Coiron Amargo southwest blocks, which have potential to reach production of more than 70,000 barrels per day (b/d) of oil equivalent in 2025. That would be an increase from output of 4,500 barrel of oil equivalent (boe/d) per day in 2018. The more immediate target is to reach 40,000 boe/d in 2021, said Shell. Shell is planning to drill more than 300 wells in 38 locations on the blocks, which cover a total of 400 sq. km. The company has a 90% interest in Sierras Blancas and Cruz de Lorena and 80% interest in Coiron Amargo Sur Oeste. ADRs were up 0.9%.


Crude was up 0.6%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 1%. Natural gas was weaker while the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 4%.

Gold was up 0.03%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.2%. Silver was up 0.5%, while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.6%

Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV) rose while other health care funds including Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare (IYH) saw small volume. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was little changed.

Arcadia Biosciences (RKDA) said it has filed a form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the secondary offering of 1.5 million common shares for up to $3.62 apiece. The company will not receive any proceeds from the offering.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2016 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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