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EEM

Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Flat To Lower Following Jobless Claims, Trade Data

Active broad-market exchange-traded funds in Thursday's regular session:

Direxion Daily Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares ( NUGT ): +17%

Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares ( JNUG ): +20.4%

VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF ( GDX ): +5.7%

VelocityShares 3X Inverse Natural Gas ETN ( DGAZ ): +6.3%

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): +1.6%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV edged lower. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was down 0.3%.

U.S. stocks were flat to lower at session's half, with pre-holiday trading volumes continuing to be light.

In economic data news, the number of individuals filing for first time unemployment benefits fell 10,000 in the week ended Dec 24 to 265,000, compared to expectations for a decline of 13,000, but still showed the strength of the U.S. labor market.

Also, the U.S. trade deficit in goods widened to $65.3 billion in November from a deficit of $62.0 billion in October.

Power Play: Health Care

Health care funds were trading higher, outperforming the broader market. Health Care SPDR (XLV), Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were weaker. Meanwhile, Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down 0.5%.

Endologix (ELGX) was up 13% after the company said it selectively removed a temporary hold on the shipments of its AFX and AFX2 Endovascular AAA systems due to positive testing results. The company suspended the hold on all sizes of the AFX Endovascular AAA system and some sizes of the AFX2 Endovascular AAA system, which will allow these products to be shipped to customers and used in procedures, effective immediately. Testing and process improvements for the remaining sizes of the AFX2 system are on-going, according to a company statement.

Winners and Losers

Financial

Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was down 1%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 1.4%, while its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 1.3%.

PHH Corp (PHH) was surging 7% with shares of the non-bank mortgage originator again nearing their intra-day highs after the company late Wednesday said it sold a $72 billion portfolio of seasoned agency and private-label mortgage servicing rights to New Residential Investment Corp (NRZ) for $612 million. NRZ shares were up 0.3%.

Technology

Tech funds were lower, in line with the broader market. 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 in the red. Meanwhile, SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was flat.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was down 0.6% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down 0.6%.

Mobileye N.V (MBLY) was up 7.7% after the company and HERE, both providers of technologies for smart vehicles, said Thursday they plan for a partnership linking their respective autonomous driving technologies into an enhanced industry-leading offering for automakers. As part of the deal, Mobileye's Roadbook will be integrated as a data layer in HERE HD Live Map, a real-time cloud service. Roadbook information will provide an additional layer of real-time contextual awareness by gathering landmark and roadway information to assist in making a vehicle more aware of its surroundings.

Energy

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was down 0.8% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 0.9%.

Seadrill (SDRL) was down 1% after the company said it has received a three-year contract extension from Saudi Aramco, the Saudi state oil company, for the jack-up AOD III offshore drilling rig until December 2019. The extension is in direct continuation of the current contract and will add approximately $112.5 million in contract backlog, Seadrill said on its website on Thursday. This follows the three-year extensions of the AOD I and AOD II rigs announced on July 29 this year. The rigs have been working for Saudi Aramco since 2013.

Commodities

Crude was down 0.7%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.4%. Natural gas was down 2.4% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 2.1%.

Gold was up 1.4%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 1.2%. Silver was up 1.1% while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.9%.

Consumer

Consumer staples funds Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC), and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) were firmer.

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 also higher.

Honda Motor Company (HMC) American depository shares were down 1% after a notification on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's web site said the car maker is recalling certain Odyssey vehicles due to problems with the seats. The company said the vehicles have second row outboard seats that have a release lever that allows the seats to move for easier access to the third row of seats and that this release lever may remain in the unlocked position allowing the seats to move unexpectedly.

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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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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