Active broad-market exchange-traded funds in Wednesday's regular session:
SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.12%
iPath S&P 500 VIX ST Futures ETN ( VXX ): -3.47%
Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ): +0.20%
iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): -0.45%
Select Industrial Sector SPDRs ( XLI ): +0.89%
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV were mostly higher. Likewise, actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was edging higher.
U.S. stock futures are pointing to a higher open ahead of jobless claims data and the beginning of a meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole. Initial jobless claims for the week ended August 16, due at 8:30 a.m. ET, are expected to see a decrease of 11,000 to 300,000. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will speak at the Jackson Hole meeting on Friday with investors looking for clues on how authorities plan to balance the winding down of economic stimulus with continued support for the economy.
Power Play: Health Care
Health Care SPDR (XLV), iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) and Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) were inactive and ended in the red Wednesday, while Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.22%.
Astrazeneca (AZN) firms after Bloomberg reports that Pfizer (PFE) isn't giving up on striking an overseas takeover to cut its tax rate and gain a new pipeline of drugs, even as the potential cost of an AZN buyout rises.
PFE abandoned a 69.5-billion-pound ($116 billion) effort to buy London-based AZN on May 26, and under U.K. takeover rules it can make the first steps toward a renewed bid next week, on Aug. 26. While it weighs that approach, PFE also is looking at other possible targets, including Actavis Plc (ACT), said people familiar with the matter, the story said.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was flat. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 0.33% while its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 0.3%.
Coverage of investment management company AllianceBernstein Holding L.P (AB) has been initiated by analysts at Jefferies with a hold rating and a price target of $27 a share.
In Thursday's pre-market session, shares of AB are unchanged from their Wednesday close of $26.76, and trade within a 52-week range of $19.25 - $28.18.
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 inactive after closing mostly lower. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) also closed lower and is inactive so far.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) bucked the trend among tech ETFs to close higher Wednesday, but are unchanged so far pre-bell.
Shares of Chinese online marketer 58.com (WUBA) were falling in this morning's pre-market trade after forecasting revenue during the current quarter trailing Wall Street expectations, upstaging Q2 adjusted earnings and revenue that beat the analyst consensus.
For the current quarter ending next month, the company is projecting revenue in a range of $66 million to $68 million, representing as much as 63% growth over the same quarter last year but trailing the Street view expecting over 74% growth by at least $4.6 million. The shares are down more than 6%.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) turned around to end higher Wednesday and are unchanged pre-market.
Oil States International (OIS) shares advanced in late trading after the energy services company announced an extension of its stock buyback authorization to September 1, 2015.
Shares of the Houston, Texas-based company rose as much as 1% to $63.33. The stock has slumped 38% through the close of regular trading on Wednesday. This authorization replaces the prior share buyback authorization which was set to expire on September 1, 2014.
Crude was down 0.7%; United States Oil Fund (USO) fell 0.6%. Natural gas was up 2.2% and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) gained 2%.
Gold was down 1.17%, while silver was down 0.7%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.8% and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) fell 0.5%.
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) were inactive after a mixed close.
Dollar Tree (DLTR), a discount retailer, reported adjusted Q2 EPS that missed Wall Street's expectations even as same-store sales increased 4.5%. Net income fell to $121.5 million in the 13-week ended August 2, from $126.1 million a year earlier. Diluted EPS increased by 5.4% to $0.59.
Excluding acquisition-related costs, diluted Q2 EPS increased 8.9% to $0.61, trailing the $0.64 average estimate of 24 analysts surveyed by Capital IQ. The shares are down almost 2% pre-market.
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