ETF Preview: Broad Market ETFs Gain as Stock Futures Point to Higher Open

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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.37%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): +0.13%.

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ( VXX ): -1.63%

Select Sector SPDR Fund - Financial ( XLF ): +0.09%

PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): +0.12%

Pre-Market Movers

UNT +2.3%

NUGT +1.47%

DUST +1.29%

UPRO +1%

TVIX -1.4%

Broad Market Indicators

Most broad market exchange-traded funds are firmer pre-market Friday. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was up 0.29%.

U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher open on Friday, which would take the S&P 500 Index to a third straight week of gains, despite mixed economic data. The frigid weather conditions across much of North America have largely distorted many of the figures released this week. Upcoming data includes existing home sales due out at 10 am ET. The consensus is for a drop of 4.1% in January after a gain of 1% the previous month.

Power Play: Technology

Technology ETFs were among the best performers in Thursday's session, with many closing close to record highs. Positive fiscal Q1 results from Hewlett Packard (HP) released Thursday, which beat estimates, may continue to buoy sentiment.

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 all unchanged pre-market after closing higher on Thursday. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was also flat, but bucked the trend in Thursday's session to close lower.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) were also unchanged after rising Thursday.

In stocks news, Shares in Geeknet, Inc. (GKNT), the parent company of online retailer ThinkGeek.com, have turned negative and are down about 4% pre-bell Friday after starting the pre-market session higher following the release of Q4 results. The company said Q4 net income was $5.1 million or $0.76 per diluted share compared to net income of $6.1 million or $0.92 per diluted share a year ago. Adjusting for one-time items, Q4 2012 income would've been $0.71 a share, the company said. Analyst estimates on Capital IQ called for earnings of $1.50 per share on a normalized basis.

Winners and Losers

Financial

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was flat. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) edged up 0.35%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 0.5%.

Among financial stocks, Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (WRE) reported net income rose from a year prior while revenue fell short of Street estimates. Net income attributable to the controlling interests for the quarter ended December 31, 2013 was $0.28 per diluted share, compared to $0.04 per diluted share in the same period one year ago. Q4 FFO was $0.42, two cents better than the Street view.

Energy

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) were both unchanged pre-market. XLE traded higher in the after-hours session.

In corporate news, North American crude oil and natural gas explorer Enerplus Corporation (ERF, ERF.TO) says Q4 2013 net income was C$29.6 million, or C$0.15 per share, compared to C$34.6 million, or C$0.17 per share, in the same period last year. Funds flow from operations totaled C$180.7 million, or C$0.89 per share, down from C$200.4 million, or C$1.01 per share, a year earlier.

Commodities

Crude was down 0.25%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was unchanged. Natural gas was up 1.1% and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 1.6%.

Gold was up 0.36% and silver was up 0.3%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) fell 0.17%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) down 0.33%.

Consumer

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) are unchanged pre-market after all closing higher on Thursday.

Among retail ETFs, SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) are quiet after closing mixed.

In stocks news, Shares of Groupon (GRPN) fell in 12% in the pre-market session, as investors registered their disappointment with the e-commerce marketplace's late-Thursday warning it expects a Q1 adjusted loss, which prompted RBC Capital to cut its investment rating on the stock to underperform from sector perform. RBC also slashed its target price on GRPN to $7 from $11.

Healthcare

Health Care SPDR (XLV), Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) are flat after a higher close. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) is also unchanged after closing at a record high on Thursday.

In corporate news, Shares of Emeritus Corporation (ESC) have shot up more than 35% in pre-market trading to $29 after the company announced that it will be merging with Brookdale Senior Living (BKD) in a transaction estimated at $2.8 billion.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: SPY , EEM , VXX , XLF , QQQ

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