ETF Preview: ETFs, Futures Higher After Weekly Jobless Claims Report; Tax Reform, Possible Government Shutdown Still Focus

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

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): -0.1%

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.02%

SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): -0.1%

VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF ( GDX ): -1.4%

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

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV were lower. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.1%.

US stock futures were posed to break their four-day losing streak, as investors were more optimistic ahead of the monthly jobs report due Friday. Washington, however, continues to be in the spotlight as traders are expected to keep an eye on the progress on tax reform as well as developments in the possible government shutdown.

Tech stocks, which have suffered selling pressure in the last several sessions, have recovered somewhat, buoyed by upbeat earnings results from Broadcom (AVGO).

In economic data news, the initial weekly jobless claims dipped 2,000 to 236,000, versus forecasts for claims to total 240,000. Continuing claims, meanwhile, dropped 52,000 to 1.908 million. Claims are back near historic lows as the distortions from the disasters and holidays have dissipated.

Looking ahead, consumer credit data for October will be reported at 3 pm ET.

Power Play: Consumer

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) were inactive.

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) rose 0.3% and retail funds SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were flat.

lululemon athletica (LULU) rose 8.9% after it reported Q3 adjusted earnings of $0.56 per share, ahead of the analyst consensus of $0.52 per share on Capital IQ and up from $0.47 per share last year. Revenue was $619 million, up 14% from year ago levels and better than the Street view of $610.5 million. For Q4, the company is targeting revenue in the range of $870 to $885 million and adjusted earnings in the range of $1.19 to $1.22 per share. Analysts are targeting revenue of $870 million and earnings of $1.17 per share. The company noted in connection with the restructuring of its ivivva operations, it expects to recognize total pre-tax costs of between $45.0 million and $50.0 million in fiscal 2017, inclusive of $45.4 million recognized during the first three quarters of fiscal 2017.

Winners and Losers


Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 0.1%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 0.3% while its bearish counterpart, FAZ was quiet in pre-market trade.

The Blackstone Group L.P (BX) said that funds managed by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities have acquired a majority share in TITUS, a provider of data classification and categorization solutions based in Ottawa. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.


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 flat.

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

Broadcom (AVGO), which has launched a $105 billion takeover offer for rival Qualcome (QCOM), posted non-GAAP diluted EPS of $4.59 in Q4, exceeding analysts' estimate of $4.52 in a Capital IQ poll, and up from $3.47 a year earlier. Revenue rose to $4.84 billion from $4.14 billion a year ago, meeting market expectations. The semiconductor device supplier said its cash and short term investment balance at the end of Q4 was $11.2 billion, compared to $5.45 billion at the end of the prior quarter. For Q1, it expects revenue of around $5.3 billion, plus or minus $75 million, compared with market expectations of $4.82 billion. The firm also said it would pay a quarterly dividend of $1.75 per share, payable on Dec. 29 to shareholders of record on Dec. 19. AVGO shares were up 4.2%.


Dow Jones US Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) were both inactive in pre-market trade.

Exxon Mobil (XOM) was up 0.02% after it said it has entered into a partnership with retailer Grupo Orsan to open eight Mobil-branded service stations this week in Queretaro as part of the company's entry in Mexico's fuels market. The company said it plans on opening 50 Mobil stations in the Bajio region by the end of Q1 of 2018. The new Mobil-branded stations will be operated by Grupo Orsan and supplied with gasoline and diesel produced by ExxonMobil's refineries in Texas. Fuels will be distributed by rail through two private fuels terminals located in San Luis Potosi and San Jose Iturbide. This is part of ExxonMobil's long-term commitment to invest $300 million in fuels logistics, product inventories and marketing in Mexico over the next 10 years.


Crude was up 0.4%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 2.8%. Natural gas was down 3% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 2.3%

Gold was down 0.6%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.8%. Silver was down 0.6%, while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 1.1%.

Health Care

Health care funds Health Care SPDR (XLV), Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH), were quiet. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was flat.

Heat Biologics (HTBX) gained almost 19% after it disclosed written responses from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) following its Type C meeting regarding its planned registrational HS-110 clinical trial design for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The discussion focused on elements of proposed clinical trial designs, both single-arm and controlled, which the FDA agreed would be appropriate to support a registrational trial of HS-110. Clinical endpoints and post-marketing commitments were also discussed in the context of accelerated approval. HS-110 is currently in phase 2 as a treatment for NSCLC. Trial design details and next steps are expected to be announced following the read-out of the phase 2 data, anticipated in the second half of 2018.

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

Copyright (C) 2016 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , ETFs
Referenced Symbols: EEM , SPY , XLF , GDX , VXX

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