Active broad-market exchange-traded funds in Thursday's regular session:
iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): -0.3%
SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.03%
SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): -0.6%
Credit Suisse AG - VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short Term ( TVIX ): -2.2%
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM ETN ( VXX ): -2.1%
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including IWM and IVV were weaker. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.3%.
U.S. stocks were lower at session's half, as Wall Street braces for President Donald Trump's trade announcement this afternoon. Trump is expected to place trade restrictions on imported steel and aluminium with no "carve-outs" for Canada and Mexico unless a new NAFTA deal is signed.
Earlier, the European Central Bank omitted language from its policy statement regarding a possible expansion of quantitative easing and left rates unchanged.
In economic data news, first time unemployment claims increased by 21,000 to 231,000 for the week ended March 3, more than twice the increase Wall Street expected.
Power Play: Health Care
Health care funds Health Care SPDR (XLV), Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare (IYH), were firmer. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.3%.
Checkpoint Therapeutics (CKPT) slid almost 15% after the company said it priced 4.6 million shrares at $4.35 each in an underwritten public offering. Checkpoint has also granted the underwriter a 45-day option to purchase up to an additional 690,000 shares of common stock offered in the public offering, at the same public offering price per share, to cover over-allotments, if any. The offering is expected to close on March 12.
Winners and Losers
The Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 0.7%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 1.4% and its bearish counterpart Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X shares (FAZ) was up 1%.
Reis Inc. (REIS) jumped 11% to its best share price since July 2016 at $22.35 each, after the commercial real estate market analytics company said it was exploring its strategic alternatives with a focus on enhancing shareholder value.
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 firmer. Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was down 0.01% and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down 0.2%.
YY (YY) ADRs fell nearly 4% after the company said HUYA, Inc., its majority-controlled subsidiary, signed agreements for a series B equity financing with Tencent. The financing was completed March 8, according to a statement. The total amount raised in this round is about $461.6 million. After the completion of this transaction, YY will maintain control over Huya. In connection with the financing, Tencent has also obtained a right, exercisable between the second and third anniversary of the closing date, to purchase additional Huya shares at a fair market price to reach 50.1% of the voting power in Huya.
Dow Jones US Energy Fund (IYE) was down 0.6% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 0.5%.
Hess (HES) edged lower after the oil and natural gas company added another $500 million to existing stock buyback program, authorizing the repurchase of up to $1 billion of its common shares this year. Under the new authorization, the company will repurchase and retire $500 million of its common stock through an accelerated stock repurchase program and use the remaining $500 million to buy back its common stock through open-market transactions through Dec. 31
Crude was down 1%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down1.4%. Natural gas was down 0.7% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 1%.
Gold was down 0.5%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.4%. Silver was down 0.02%, while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.03%.
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. 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 in the red.
iPic Entertainment (IPIC) rose 6% after the firm said it signed a memorandum of understanding to develop its theater-and-restaurant locations throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The company said iPic has formed a partnership with BAS Global Investments Company, a well-known Saudi group, according to a statement. This relationship reflects the company's strategy to pursue international asset-light licensed agreements. With roughly two-thirds of the local population under 30 years of age, Saudi's demographics play into iPic's strength as a social entertainment destination "that is also an affordable luxury". Through this partnership, the company believes there are significant expansion opportunities for the iPic brand over time.
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