Active broad-market exchange-traded funds ahead of Friday's regular session:
iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): +0.6%
SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.5%
SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): -0.8%
VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short Term ETN ( TVIX ): -3.8%
iShares MSCI EAFE ETF ( EFA ): -0.6%
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV were higher. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.4%.
US stock futures were pointing higher as traders' focus shifted to the monthly jobs report, and as trade-war fears and concerns about the political issues in Italy receded.
The Labor Department said the US economy created 223,000 new jobs in May, versus the expectations for a gain of 190,000 nonfarm jobs. The average hourly wage rose by 8 cents, or 0.3%, to $26.92, while the yearly rate of pay increases rose to 2.7% from 2.6%. The unemployment rate fell to an 18-year low of 3.8%.
Looking ahead, Markit will release the May reading of its purchasing managers index at 9:45 am ET. This will be followed by the ISM manufacturing index for the same month and a reading on construction spending in April, both at 10 am ET.
Power Play: Consumer
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) and other funds Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) were flat.
Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) and retail funds SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were inactive in pre-market territory.
Abercrombie & Fitch Company (ANF) shares climbed more than 5% after the fashion retailer posted Q1 adjusted loss per share of $0.56, compared with an adjusted loss per share of $0.91 in the same quarter a year earlier and narrower than the loss per share forecast in a Capital IQ poll of analysts for $0.77. Revenue rose to $730.9 million from $661.1 million a year earlier. That was higher than the $695.7 analyst consensus. For fiscal 2018, the company expects comparable sales to be up in the range of 2% to 4% after a comparable sales increase of 5% in Q1. It sees net sales rising between 2% to 4%, with net sales in Q2 up high-single digits, including benefits from changes in foreign currency exchange rates and the calendar shift.
Winners and Losers
The Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 1%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 1.7% and its bearish counterpart Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X shares (FAZ) was up 0.1%.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on Friday said that it was preparing criminal cartel charges against ANZ Bank, the bank's treasurer Rick Moscati, and underwriters Deutsche Bank (DB) and Citigroup (C) over a $2.3 billion share issue, Reuters reported. "The charges will involve alleged cartel arrangements relating to trading in ANZ shares following an ANZ institutional share placement in August 2015," ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said in a statement. The charges stem from an alleged arrangement or understanding between joint lead managers of the institutional placement of 80.8 million shares. The commission is investigating whether ANZ should have stated that 25.5 million shares of the placement had been taken up by "joint lead managers." All three banks denied the allegations of misconduct and vowed to defend the charges. Citigroup said that the regulator was effectively criminalizing practices long held as the norm in the financial industry.
Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was up 0.4% 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 inactive.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) were both flat.
Facebook (FB) was up 0.4% after MarketWatch, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that the tech company is planning to feature news shows on its Watch video platform that will likely include content from Fox News and CNN. The news programs being negotiated, which would be financed by Facebook and run exclusively on the platform, include one from Fox News hosted by Shepard Smith, according to the report. Fox News is owned by Fox Entertainment Group, a unit of Twenty-First Century Fox (FOX, FOXA). CNN is owned by the Turner Broadcasting System, a division of Time Warner (TWX). Some of the shows could be unveiled as early as next week and will officially launch in July, according to the report.
Dow Jones US Energy Fund (IYE) was flat and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 0.1%.
Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) said late Thursday its Shell Offshore unit has started production approximately one year ahead of schedule at the first phase of its Kaikias subsea development in the Gulf of Mexico. The asset has an estimated peak production of 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Shell said it has reduced costs by around 30% at the project since last year, lowering the forward-looking, break-even price to less than $30 per barrel of oil.
Crude was down 1.3%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 1.3%. Natural gas was down 0.3% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.5%.
Gold was up 0.5%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.4%. Silver was down 0.4%, while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.2%.
Health Care SPDR (XLV) was up 0.2% while other health care funds Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were flat. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.4% in pre-market trading .
Co-Diagnostics (CODX) was up more than 17% after the molecular diagnostics company said a research group at Stanford University will utilize its CoPrimer technology in a study of genetic mutations. The company said the Wang Group at Stanford is working to develop more efficient methods to detect multiple mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor gene within a single reaction. The mutations are among the most frequently occurring mutations in lung cancer, the company said.
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