ETF Preview: ETFs, Futures Weaken Ahead of Open as Investors Mull Economic Data, Disappointing Earnings

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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +1.10%

iShares S&P 500 ( IVV ): +1.11%

PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ): +1.85%

iShares Russell 2000 ( IWM ): +1.43%

iShares Russell 1000 Growth ( IWF ): +1.40%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (EEM): +0.82%

United States Oil Fund (USO): +0.63%

SPDR Gold Shares (GLD): -2.21%

Select Financial Sector SPDRS (XLF): +1.43%

Pre-Market Movers

SPY, -1.10%

EEM, -1.05%

QQQ, -0.99%

UNG, -1.24%

XLF, -1.22%

Broad Market Indicators

Most broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV are weaker ahead of Friday's open. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was down 0.99%.

Most U.S. stock futures were also slipping into the red as investors digested the latest economic data released Friday as well as a number of disappointing earnings. The Commerce Department reported that consumer spending rose 0.4% in December after an upwardly revised 0.6% gain in November. Personal income, however, remained unchanged. Meanwhile, the Q4 Employment Cost Index rose 0.5%, higher than the forecasted 0.4% gain. Among earnings losers were Mattel (MAT), Amazon (AMZN) and MasterCard (MA).

Power Play: Technology

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) are quiet in pre-market trading. Likewise, SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) remains flat.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) are unchanged.

In sector news, Google (GOOG) was up 4% after it reported late Thursday Q4 revenue of $16.86 billion, up 17% from Q4 last year. The result included Traffic Acquisition Costs (TAC) of $3.31 billion. The analyst consensus on Capital IQ called for revenue of $16.75 bln, generally an ex TAC number. Non-GAAP EPS was $12.01 per share, up from $10.65 per share last year and below the analyst consensus of $12.29 per share on Capital IQ.

Winners and Losers

Financial

Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) is down 1.22%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is down 4.50% and its bearish counterpart, FAZ is up 4.52%.

In sector news, MasterCard (MA) was down 7.5% after it posted Q4 net income of $623 million, or $0.52 per share, up from $605 million, or $0.49 per share, with the per-share figures adjusted for the stock's 10-for-one split. Adjusted earnings came in at $0.57 per share for the latest quarter, up 16% from a year earlier. Analysts polled by Capital IQ were looking for $5.97 per share before the effect of the split; adjusting for the split, the analyst consensus was $0.597. Revenue climbed 12% to $2.13 billion, in line with the Street view for $2.1 billion. Adjusted for currency, net revenue rose 11%.

Energy

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) is flat while Select Sector SPDR (XLE) is down 1.20% in pre-market trading.

In sector news, CONSOL Energy Inc. (CNX) reported Q4 earnings from continuing operations of $0.64 per share, compared with the prior-year period's $0.47 per share. Analysts polled by Capital IQ were expecting EPS of $0.05, but it is not clear if this is comparable. Revenues were $825.23 million, down from $934.81 million in the same quarter last year. The Street view is for $962.78 million. The company said it expects Q1 gas production to be around 47 - 49 Bcfe, while annual 2014 natural gas production is expected to be 215 - 235 Bcfe. It also said it expects 2015 and 2016 annual gas production to grow by 30%.

Commodities

March crude was down 1.06% while United States Oil Fund (USO) is flat. March natural gas is down 2.22%; United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) is flat.

April gold is up 0.81%, and SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.99%. March silver is up 1.62%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 1.30% this morning.

Consumer

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

Among stocks, Wal-Mart (WMT) was down 1.27% after it said it expects underlying Q4 EPS at or slightly below the low end of its guidance range of $1.60 to $1.70. For the full year 2014, it expects underlying EPS at or below the low end of its guidance range of $5.11 to $5.21 per share. The analyst consensus on Capital IQ calls for Q4 earnings of $1.65 and earnings of $5.19 per share for the year. The company had previously guided for Q3 EPS from continuing operations of $1.50 to $1.60, which included a $0.10 per share impact from two discrete items, which resulted in an underlying EPS guidance range of $1.60 to $1.70. For the full year, the company had previously said it expected to deliver EPS of $5.01 to $5.11 and accounting for the $0.10 of discrete items, the range for underlying EPS was between $5.11 and $5.21.

Healthcare

Health Care SPDR (XLV), Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) are flat pre-market after seeing gains in the previous session. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) is down 1.05%.

Among stocks, Actavis (ACT) was down 1.54% after it said it expects to record revenue above $10 billion in 2014 and earnings between $12.60 per share and $13.10 - "modestly above the high-end" of the company's previous forecast. Analysts are expecting sales of $10.49 billion and EPS of $12.89. The specialty pharmaceutical company gave its outlook at an annual investor meeting in New York today.



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.

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


This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: IVV , IWF , IWM , QQQ , SPY

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