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Mid-Day ETF Update; ETFs, Stocks Rattled by Conflicting Reports on Rosenstein Ahead of Thursday Meeting with Trump

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

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): -1.2%

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.4%

VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF ( GDX ): +0.5%

SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): -0.9%

Invesco QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): +0.2%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including IWM and IVV were lower. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was up 0.2%.

U.S. stocks extended their losses into the session's half, as China's response to U.S. tariffs coupled with reports of another high-level White House defection spooked Wall Street and encouraged investors to pivot into safe-haven assets.

According to recent reports, President Donald Trump and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will meet Thursday, following conflicting reports of the latter's resignation or termination. Three days ago, Rosenstein had reportedly raised the idea of secretly recording Trump and of invoking the constitution to have his cabinet remove him from office. Any termination or resignation would have immediate implications for special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of possible collaboration between Russia and the Trump campaign before the 2016 election.

In economic news, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index came in at a 0.18 print in August versus 0.02 expected by Econoday and 0.13 in the previous month.

Power Play: Energy

Dow Jones US Energy Fund (IYE) was up 1.3% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 1.4%.

Jones Energy (JONE) surged more than 32% after the independent oil and natural gas company said it received notice from the New York Stock Exchange on Sept. 21 that it has regained compliance with the NYSE's continued listing standards. Last March, the company received a deficiency notification from the NYSE because its average closing price per share of Class A common stock over the previous 30 trading days was below $1.00. Jones Energy said it resolved the problem by implementing a 20-for-1 reverse stock split on Sept. 7. The company said it regained compliance as of market close Sept. 21, because the closing price per share of its class A common stock was above $1 per share and was on average above $1 for the 30 trading days preceding Sept. 21. The shares of class A common stock continued trading on the NYSE without interruption and began trading on a split-adjusted basis on Sept. 10.

Winners and Losers

Financial

The Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 1%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 2.9% and its bearish counterpart Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X shares (FAZ) was up 3%.

Deutsche Bank AG (DB) was down marginally after the bank was ordered late Friday by German regulators to improve internal controls to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Germany's Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, or BaFin, also appointed a special representative to monitor the German bank's efforts to prevent money laundering. Deutsche Bank was fined nearly $700 million last year for money laundering for wealthy Russians and others who were moving money out of the country. The bank admitted its anti-money laundering processes were inadequate. Subsequently, Deutsche Bank has said it will cooperated with regulators and "improve these processes in the corporate and investment bank further."

Technology

Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was up 0.2% 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 in the green.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was down 0.3% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down 0.1%.

Symantec (SYMC) gained more than 3% after the firm said the Audit Committee of its board has concluded its previously announced internal investigation of allegations raised by a former employee. The Audit Committee reviewed a transaction with a customer for which $13 million was recognized as revenue in Q4 2018. After subsequent review of the transaction, the company has concluded that $12 million of the $13 million should be deferred. Accordingly, the previously announced financial results for Q4 and Q1 2019 will be revised to take into account this deferral and any other financial adjustments required as a result of this revision. The company said it does not anticipate a restatement or adjustment of any previously filed statements.

Commodities

Crude was up 1.9%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 1.8%. Natural gas was up 1.9% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 1.8%.

Gold was down 0.4%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.1%. Silver was up 0.04%, while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.2%.

Consumer

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was up 0.2% and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Consumer Goods (IYK) inched higher.

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was down 0.1% while retail funds SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were firmer.

Coca-Cola (KO) fell more than 1% folloing media reports the company acquired French beverage company Tropico for an undisclosed sum, the US carbonated soft drink manufacturer's first purchase of a French brand. The transaction is a recent addition to Coca-Cola's expanding list of M&A activities. Earlier reports said Coca-Cola also intends to take over Nigerian juice company Chi, targeting to close the buyout in early 2019.

Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV) was down 0.2% and other health care funds including Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare (IYH) were higher. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.5%.

Nightstar Therapeutics (NITE) fell nearly 15% after the firm reported Saturday positive preliminary data from a dose escalation phase 1/2 trial of NSR-RPGR, which demonstrated proof of concept with durable dose-related improvements seen as early as month 1 across multiple microperimetry analyses. The trial also showed NSR-RPGR was well tolerated with no dose limiting toxicities or serious treatment-related adverse events.

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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