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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -1.5%

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): -2.6%

SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): -1.5%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN ( VXX ): +8%

Invesco QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): -1.9%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including IWM and IVV were lower. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was down 1.9%.

US stock futures were in the red ahead of the open amid fresh concerns about the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China after the arrest of a high-ranking official of Chinese digital device maker Huawei. Huawei' s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada and faces extradition to the US.

In economic data releases, ADP's private payroll estimate in November came in at 179,000, versus forecasts for 175,000. The October figure was revised to 225,000 from the initial figure of 227,000.

The trade deficit climbed 1.7% in October to a 10-year high. The Commerce Department said the deficit inched up to $55.5 billion from a revised $54.6 billion in September. Expectations were for the trade deficit to widen to $55 billion for October from the prior month's $54 billion deficit.

Weekly unemployment claims dropped by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 231,000, versus forecasts for a decline to 225,000 in the Dec. 1 week. Continuing claims fell by 74,000 to 1.63 million.

The second estimate for Q3 non-farm productivity was raised to 2.3% from the prior estimate of a 2.2% increase. Unit labor costs rose a revised 0.9%, down from the initially reported 1.2% advance.

Looking ahead, at 9:45 am ET, the PMI services index is seen coming at 54.4 for November vs the previous level of 54.8.

At 10 am ET, forecasters see factory orders falling 2% in October. The ISM non-manufacturing index is seen at a consensus of 59.0 in November versus 60.3 in October.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak at a housing conference in Washington, DC.

Power Play: Consumer

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was down 0.7% and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Consumer Goods (IYK) were inactive.

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was down 1% and retail funds SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were also quiet in pre-market trade.

The Children's Place (PLCE) is down more than 10% as the apparel retailer cut its full-year adjusted EPS view. Fiscal Q3 adjusted earnings of $3.07 per share were up from $2.58 a year ago and in line with the $3.07 estimate from analysts polled by Capital IQ. For the quarter ended Nov. 3, total revenue of $522.5 million was up from $490 million in the same period a year ago, topping the Street projection of $511.2 million. Same-store sales increased 9.5% for the quarter. The company lowered its full-year adjusted EPS guidance to a range of $7.69 to $7.79. It previously expected adjusted EPS of $8.09 to $8.29. Forward estimates on adjusted EPS were not available. The Children's Place guided Q4 revenue in the range of $547 million to $552 million, short of the Street estimate of $567.1 million. It expects Q4 adjusted EPS in the range of $2.07 to $2.17. The Children's Place also said it expects full-year revenue of roughly $1.96 billion, increased from prior guidance ranging from $1.95 billion to $1.96 billion. The new forecast is in line with the Street projection of $1.96 billion.

Winners and Losers


The Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 1.6% in pre-market trade. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 3.6% and its bearish counterpart Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X shares (FAZ) was up 4%.

KKR & Co. (KKR) rose marginally after it said it led a $100 million investment round for Cross River Bank, which provides banking services for financial technology companies. The private equity firm led the funding round with a $75 million investment, the New Jersey state-chartered bank said Thursday. KKR was joined by CreditEase and Lion Tree Partners, and by returning investors Battery Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Ribbit Capital. KKR made the investment primarily from its Private Credit Opportunities Partners II LP fund, the bank said.


Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was down 1.2% and other tech funds iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW) and iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM) were inactive.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) were both flat.

Momo (MOMO) fell more than 13% after the China-based social and entertainment platform reported late Wednesday Q3 adjusted net income of $0.53 per American depositary share, up from $0.45 per ADS in the prior year period. Net revenues were $536 million, up from $354.5 million reported for the same period last year. Analysts surveyed by CapIQ forecast earnings of $0.53 on revenue of $535.3 million. For Q4, the company expects revenues of RMB3.66 billion to RMB3.76 billion.


Dow Jones US Energy Fund (IYE) was quiet and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 2.1% in pre-market trade.

QEP Resources (QEP) was down more than 1% after it said that Charles Stanley will step down as the company's president, chairman and CEO, effective Jan. 14, 2019, after which the company will separate the chairman and CEO roles. Following Stanley's resignation, Timothy Cutt will take the roles of president and CEO and will also serve as a board member. Meanwhile, QEP named David Trice, lead independent director, as chairman of the oil and natural gas exploration company.


Crude was down 3.2%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 2.5%. Natural gas was down 2% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 2.5%.

Gold was down 0.1%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.01%. Silver was down 1%, while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.7%.

Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV) was down 1.2% and other health care funds including Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare (IYH) were quiet. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down 1.4%.

Axovant Sciences (AXON) rose more than 6% after it said its fiscal Q2 net loss narrowed to $0.28 a share from $0.64 a year earlier, and that was better than the consensus on Capital IQ for a loss of $0.41 a share. Research and development expenses were $21.5 million from $38.6 million a year earlier.

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