ETF Preview: Broad Market ETFs Mixed, Gold Funds Outperform on Safe-Haven Demand


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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.4%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): 1%

iShares MSCI Japan ETF ( EWJ ): -0.9%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ( VXX ): -0.8%

Market Vectors Gold Miners ( GDX ): +2%

Pre-Market Movers

IDX +6.6%

EIDO +5.8%

AGQ +2.3%

RUSS -2.3%

NUGT -1.6%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad market exchange-traded funds were mixed in quiet pre-market trading Friday. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was nearly flat, with a decline of just 0.02%.

U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open following declines in global stock markets, on tension in the Ukraine and concern over a slowdown in China's economy. Russia carried out new military exercises Thursday on its border with Ukraine, while the Crimea region is scheduled to hold a referendum Sunday on whether to realign with Russia.

Power Play: Commodities

Gold edged higher after hitting a six-month peak Thursday on demand for safe-haven investments amid heightened geopolitical tensions. In the pre-market session, gold was up 0.1% and silver was up 0.8%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.2%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) gained 1.4%.

Crude was up 0.4%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was flat. Natural gas was down 0.4%; United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.04%.


Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) were all flat after closing slightly weaker Thursday.

Retail ETFs SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) and PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) were also unchanged pre-bell after dropping Thursday.

Among stocks, Hibbett Sports (HIBB) declined in pre-market trading Friday, after the operator of sporting-goods retail stores reported financial results for its fiscal Q4 ended Feb. 1 that fell short of analysts' expectations and guidance for fiscal 2015 that disappointed. Shares were down 4.4% at $55.32, in a 52-week range of $50.67 to $68.31.


Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) is up 0.18%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 0.3%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 0.4%.

In stock news, American Homes 4 Rent (AMH) late Thursday reported Q4 funds from operations and revenue weaker than Street view while maintaining its quarterly distribution rate. The Maryland real-estate investment trust reported a net loss attributable to shareholders of $14.5 million, or $$0.08 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $7.7 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, in Q3. The company didn't provide updated prior-year figures.


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) and SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) were all inactive pre-market after closing lower Thursday.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) were also flat, but near record highs.

Shares in Ebix (EBIX) were up 6% in recent Friday pre-market trading after the software and e-commerce solutions provider reported in-line revenue for Q4. Net income was $15.2 million, or $0.40 per share, down from $18.7 million, or $0.48 per share, a year earlier.


Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) were also unchanged pre-market. They both fell Thursday.

In corporate news, McDermott (MDR) late Thursday said its Dive Support Vessel Thebaud Sea has been contracted for the third time in recent months for an emergency pipeline-repair job offshore the United Arab Emirates. Financial terms of the contract weren't disclosed. McDermott is a provider of engineering, procurement, construction and installation services to oil and gas companies. Its stock was inactive pre-market Friday.


Health Care SPDR (XLV) is down 0.02%, while Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) are flat. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was inactive after dropping 2.5% on Thursday.

In corporate news, shares in Gilead Sciences (GILD) declined pre-bell Friday, after Idenix Pharmaceuticals (IDIX), a biopharmaceutical company focused on human viral diseases, said it filed patent-infringement lawsuits against GILD and certain of its subsidiaries in France, Germany and the U.K.

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

Copyright (C) 2014 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: SPY , EEM , EWJ , VXX , GDX

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