Active broad-market exchange-traded funds in Monday's pre-market session:
SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust ( SPY ): -0.4%
VIX Short-Term Futures ETN Ipath ( VXX ): +1.4%
iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): +0.7%
SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): -0.1%
Daily 2X VIX ST ETN Velocityshares ( TVIX ): +2.8%
Most broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, were higher. Meanwhile, actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) edged lower, down 0.3%.
U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open, as crude oil futures recovered from earlier lows. Market sentiment also brightened somewhat following M&A news from Newell Rubbermaid (NWL) and Jarden Corporation (JAH).
With no major economic data on tap this Monday, investors are looking ahead to Wednesday, when the Federal Reserve is expected to announce an increase in U.S. interest rates - the first in almost a decade.
Power Play: Consumer
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) were inactive.
Consumer Discretionary SPDR (XLY) was down 0.8%; retail funds SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were flat.
Newell Rubbermaid (NWL) and Jarden Corporation (JAH) have agreed to merge. The transaction will create a $16 billion consumer goods company to be named Newell Brands. Jarden shareholders will receive $21 in cash and 0.862 of a share in Newell Rubbermaid stock at closing. Newell Rubbermaid shareholders will own approximately 55% of the company after the deal is complete. Based on Newell Rubbermaid's closing share price as of December 11, the implied total consideration would be $60 per share, a 24% premium to Jarden's 30-day volume weighted average share price as of December 11. A total of $500 million in incremental cost synergies are expected over the next four years. The deal is expected to be accretive with strong double digit EPS after the synergies are realized. The annual dividend is expected at or above the current Newell Rubbermaid rate of $0.76 per share. The acquisition is subject to approval by shareholders of both Newell Rubbermaid and Jarden and is expected to close in Q2 2016. NWL shares were down 8.3% while JAH shares were up 2.1% in pre-market trading .
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 0.1%. Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 0.6% and its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 0.6%.
The Bancorp (TBBK), a financial holding company, said Monday that it has appointed John C. Chrystal as interim chief executive officer of the company and president of The Bancorp Bank following the resignation of Frank M. Mastrangelo. Chrystal currently serves as a member of the company's board. Mastrangelo will continue to serve the company in the new role of technologist in residence.
Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was up 0.7%, while 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 inactive. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was also unchanged.
Semiconductor ETFs SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) were flat in pre-market trading.
Fairchild Semiconductor International (FCS) said its board of director has concluded the unsolicited proposal to acquire Fairchild for $21.70 per share in cash would not result in a "Superior Proposal" as defined in Fairchild's merger plan with ON Semiconductor (ON). On Nov. 18, Fairchild entered into an agreement and plan of merger under which a subsidiary of ON Semiconductor agreed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Fairchild common stock for $20.00 per share in cash. Fairchild said its board of directors has not changed its recommendation in support of the merger.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was flat and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 1.1% in the pre-market session.
EnCana (ECA) was down 4.8% after the Canadian oil and gas firm cut its FY16 capital expenditure budget and slashed its annual dividend. For fiscal 2016, EnCana expects total capital spending of $1.5 billion to $1.7 billion, approximately $600 million lower than 2015 and below a prior guidance of $2.2 billion provided in November. EnCana said 95% of next year's capital budget will be invested in four core assets, with 50% directed to oil-and-gas plays in the Permian shale-oil basin. The company said it will distribute an annual dividend of $0.06 per share for 2016, equal to about $50 million. Previously, the company distributed quarterly dividends of $0.07 per share, equal to $0.28 per share annualized.
Crude was down 1.4%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 2.4%. Natural gas futures were down 5.4%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 5.2%. Gold was down 0.3% and SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.8%. Silver was down 0.9% and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 2%.
Health Care SPDR (XLV), Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were flat. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down 0.3%.
BIND Therapeutics (BIND) was down over 11% in recent pre-market trade after saying it won't advance a trial of its targeted and programmable therapeutics Accurins in a phase 2 arm with patients with KRAS mutant non-small cell lung cancer. he company said that in the cohort of the trial with Kirsten rat sarcoma mutant NSCLC, the data did not meet the pre-specified criteria to move to the second stage. Meanwhile, the cohort with squamous histology non-small cell lung cancer will advance to the second stage and complete enrollment to 40 patients.
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