Active broad-market exchange-traded funds in Thursday's regular session:
iShares MSCI Brazil Capped Index Fund ( EWZ ): -15.3%
iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): -1.8%%
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN ( VXX ): +8.7%
SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): +0.02%
SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.2%
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV inched higher. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.6%.
U.S. stocks remained in the red at session's half as the fallout from President Donald Trump's firing of former FBI director James Comey continued to weigh U.S. financial markets.
Investors are now questioning whether the administration's plans, including the promised tax reforms, could come into fruition, especially with the appointment of a special investigator coupled with new accusations that Trump's campaign staff made repeated, and likely improper, contact with Russian officials.
Upbeat economic data was eclipsed by the negative Trump news. initial jobless claims declined another 4,000 to 232,000 in the week ended May 13, its lowest level in nearly 30 years, while continuing claims fell to a 44-year low. This compares to estimates for a gain of 4,000 to 240,000.
Additionally, the Philadelphia Fed business outlook index jumped to 38.8 in May, the 10th consecutive increase in this series, and beating expectations for a decline to 19.6 from April's 22.0.
Power Play: Technology
Tech funds 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 higher. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was up 0.2%.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 0.7%; Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 1.2%.
Cisco Systems (CSCO) was down 8.1% after it said it is planning to cut 1,100 more jobs, extending an overhaul that began in August, as the technology company also projected that revenue in its fiscal fourth quarter, which is underway, would fall between 4% and 6%. The staff reductions come on top of the 5,500 jobs that the San Jose, California-headquartered company said it was eliminating last August and are expected to incur an estimated $150 million more in pre-tax charges on top of the $700 million related to cuts announced last year, the company said in its fiscal third-quarter earnings report which was released on Wednesday after the stock markets closed.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 0.1%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 0.1%, while its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 0.1%.
Condor Hospitality Trust (CDOR) was down 0.7% after it said that it has closed on the sale of a legacy hotel asset, the 40-room Key West Inn located at 201 Ocean Drive, Key Largo, Florida for $7.6 million. Net proceeds from the sale will be applied to outstanding debt on the company's $150 million secured credit facility.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was down 0.1% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 0.04%.
Teekay Offshore Partners L.P (TOO) fell 12.5% after it reported Q1 adjusted net profit of $15.2 million, down from $44 million reported for the same period last year. Revenues were $276.1 million, down from $306.7 million reported for the same period last year. The Street estimate called for revenues of $249.1 million.
Crude was up 0.8%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.8%. Natural gas was down 0.3% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.1%.
Gold was down 0.4%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.3%. Silver was down 1.5% while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 1.4%.
Health care funds Health Care SPDR (XLV), Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were higher. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.7%.
Repros Therapeutics (RPRX) fell 32.6% to a new 52-week low after it said it entered into an underwriting agreement to sell in a public offering 2.7 million shares of common stock and pre-funded series C warrants to purchase 2.3 million common shares for total gross proceeds of $3 million. Each common share will be sold with one series A warrant to purchase 0.75 share of common stock and one series B warrant to purchase 0.5 share of common stock at a combined price of $0.60. Each pre-funded series C warrant will be sold with one series A warrant and one series B warrant at a combined price of $0.60. The warrants will have strike prices of $0.84 per share for the series A warrant, $0.92 per share for the series B warrant, and $0.001 per share for the pre-funded warrant. The offering is expected to close on or about May 23, subject to customary closing conditions.
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) and other consumer staples funds Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) were weaker.
Meanwhile, 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 mixed.
Ascena Retail Group (ASNA) fell 30.3% after the company said late Wednesday it now expects to miss Q3 sales and earnings estimates. It sees Q3 non-GAAP EPS between $0.04 - $0.06, below the CapIQ mean for $0.09. Same-store sales are seen down 8%. For the year, it sees non-GAAP EPS between $0.10 - $0.15, below the Street's $0.38. It sees same-store sales dropping between 6% and 7%. It said conditions are likely to remain challenging for the next 12 to 24 months.
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