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Mid-Day ETF Update: ETFs, Stocks Mixed in Choppy Trade as Street Frets Over Possible Interest Rate Hike

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

SPDR S&P 500 (

): -0.1%

VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (

): +2%

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund (

): -0.1%

ProShares Trust Ultra VIX Short Term Futures ETF (

): +3.4%

Direxion Daily Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares (

): +6.7%

Broad Market Indicators

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

U.S. stocks were struggling between gains and losses at session's half, as small gains from a rebound in crude oil prices were offset by concerns that an interest rate increase could be implemented sooner than expected.

Earlier, Kansas City Fed President Ester George, a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, said that "it is time to move" - referring to a possible interest rate hike. However, she also said that the increase should be gradual. The hawkish comments by George comes ahead of the Fed's annual economic policy symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

In economic data, the preliminary, flash Markit services purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell back to 50.9 in August after holding at 51.4 in July and June. Also, the government reported that orders for durable goods rose 4.4% in July, better than the forecasts for an increase of 3.6%. Weekly jobless claims fell by 1,000 to 261,000 - still near post-recession lows - versus expectations for claims to total 264,000.

Power Play: Consumer

Consumer staples funds were edging lower, a little above the broader market. Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) were in negative territory.