Active broad-market exchange-traded funds in Thursday's regular session:
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN ( VXX ): +2.5%
SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): +0.1%
ProShares Trust Ultra VIX Short Term Futures ETF ( UVXY ): +4.9%
PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): -0.6%
SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.5%
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV edged lower. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was down 0.6%.
U.S. stocks were in negative territory at session's half as technology shares continued to face selling pressure, weighing on the benchmarks ahead of key monthly jobs data due Friday.
Investors were digesting this morning's ADP payrolls, which were up 158,000, well short of the estimated 180,000 and setting up for a potentially disappointing nonfarm figure due Friday morning.
Meanwhile, weekly jobless claims increased 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 248,000. The trade deficit for May fell 2.3% to $46.5 billion from $47.6 billion in April; Expectations were for it to narrow to $46.2 billion.
And, the Institute for Supply Management's nonmanufacturing index rose to 57.4% in June from 56.9% in May.
Power Play: Consumer
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.
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 lower.
HSN (HSNI) was up 27.2% after it has agreed to be bought by Liberty Interactive (QVCA, QVCB, LVNTA, LVNTB) in an all-stock deal. Each share of HSNI will be exchanged for 1.65 shares of Series A QVC Group common stock. This equates to a total enterprise value for HSNI of $2.6 billion, an equity value of $2.1 billion, and consideration of $40.36 per HSNI share. Liberty Interactive currently owns 38.2% of HSNi and, under the definitive agreement will acquire the remaining 61.8% stake. The deal is seen closing by Q4.
Winners and Losers
Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 0.1%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 0.7%, while its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 0.9%.
Axis Capital Holdings (AXS) was down 3% after it said late Wednesday it is acquiring Novae Group plc, a diversified specialty reinsurer that operates through Lloyd's of London for $604 million. The transaction adds scale and breadth to Axis, creating a $2 billion insurer that's anchored as a top-ten insurer at Lloyd's, according to a statement. Based on 2016 actual results, the combination represents a global specialty reinsurer with gross written premiums exceeding $6 billion. The acquisition is an "opportunity to accelerate the breadth and depth of talent, lines of business, and leadership positions that we are developing in the London market," CEO Albert Benchimol said.
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 in the red. Meanwhile, SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was up 0.4%.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was up 0.2% while Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 0.1%.
RMG Networks Holding (RMGN) was up 2.4% after the company said it recently got an additional contract with an existing customer in the Middle East. The contract is for expanding RMG's interactive digital signage solution into two of the customer's new facilities, according to a statement, which did not disclose the name of the client. The rollout, currently underway and slated for completion in August, includes the installation of more than 230 digital signage screens, interactive kiosks and meeting room booking displays throughout the new facilities.
Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was down 0.3% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) were down 0.4% each.
Bridge Pipeline Company, a 50/50 joint venture owned by Magellan Midstream Partners L.P (MMP) and Plains All American (PAA), has launched an open season to assess customer interest for expanded capacity and a new origin in Midland, Texas. All potential customers must submit binding commitments by 6:00 pm ET on Aug 4. The BridgeTex pipeline was recently expanded from 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) to a capacity of 400,000 bpd to deliver Permian Basin crude oil from Colorado City, Texas to the Houston Gulf Coast area. If warranted by customer demand, BridgeTex may further expand the capacity of the pipeline system up to approximately 440,000 bpd. MMP shares were up 0.9% while PAA shares were down 0.5%.
Crude was up 2.1%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 2.8%. Natural gas was up 1.4% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 0.9%.
Gold was up 0.1%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.2%. Silver was 0.4% higher while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.4%.
Health care funds Health Care SPDR (XLV), Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were weaker. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down 1.1%.
Celgene (CELG) and BeiGene (BGNE) said late Wednesday they have entered into a strategic collaboration to develop and commercialize BGB-A317, BeiGene's investigational anti-programmed cell death protein for patients with solid tumor cancers. Under the deal, which covers markets in the U.S., Europe, Japan, and the rest of world outside Asia, BeiGene will receive upfront licensing fees totaling $263 million upon closing. Celgene will also buy 32.7 million BeiGene shares, or a 5.9% stake, at $4.58 each or $59.55 per BeiGene American depository share, representing a 35% premium to the 11-day volume-weighted average price of BeiGene's ADS. BeiGene is eligible to receive up to $980 million in development, regulatory and sales milestone payments and royalties on future sales of BGB-A317. BeiGene will retain exclusive rights for the development and commercialization of BGB-A317 for hematological malignancies globally and for solid tumors in Asia, except Japan, and BeiGene will acquire Celgene's commercial operations in China and gain an exclusive license to commercialize Celgene's approved therapies in China -- Abraxane, Revlimid and Vidaza. CELG shares were down 1.1% while BGNE shares were up 24.8%.
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