ETF Preview: ETFs, Futures Point Higher as Wall Street Keep Wary Eye on US-China Trade Talks

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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.3%

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): +0.9%

VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF ( GDX ): +0.8%

SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): +0.2%

iShares Inc iShares MSCI Brazil ETF ( EWZ ): +1.2%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including IWM and IVV, were higher. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) were up 0.3%.

US stock futures were pointing to a higher open, as investors continued to focus on the US-China trade talks, especially following news that US President Donald Trump will meet with China's Vice Premier Liu He. On Thursday, negotiators had reportedly arranged a memorandum of understanding to resolve most of the outstanding issues between the two countries. The aim is to have a final deal to be signed when Trump meets China's President Xi Jinping at a summit next month.

Among stock movers, Stamps.com (STMP) slumped more than 50% following downside guidance for 2019 as well as its annoucement of ending its exclusive partnership with the US Postal Service; meanwhile, Kraft Heinz (KHC) fell more than 25% after reporting lower-than-expected Q4 results, as well as unveiling an accounting investigation resulting in a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Power Play: Technology

Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was up 0.6% and other tech funds iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW) and iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM) were inactive.

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

Stamps.com (STMP) plunged more than 53% as the company outlined expectations for 2019 that were below consensus on the heels of upbeat Q4 results. The company said Q4 non-GAAP income was $3.73 a share, down from $4.68 a year earlier but better than the consensus on Capital IQ for $2.90. Revenue climbed 29% to $170.2 million, also ahead of the Street's view for $160 million. For fiscal 2019, Stamps.com sees revenue between $540 million to $570 million and non-GAAP EPS of $5.15 to $6.15. That's well below the CapIQ consensus for revenue of $689 million and EPS of $10.79 normalized.

Separately, the company said it is ending its shipping partnership with the US Postal Service. "We will no longer be exclusive to the USPS and that's non-negotiable," CEO Kenneth McBride said on a call to investors and analysts late Thursday. "The USPS has not agreed to accept these terms or any other terms of our partnership proposal," he said, referring to the demands Stamps.com made in negotiations to renew their revenue-sharing agreement.

Winners and Losers


The Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 0.2% in the pre-market session. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 0.1% while its bearish counterpart Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X Shares (FAZ) was down 0.5%.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY, RY.TO) rose marginally after i t report ed adjusted fiscal Q1 earnings of CAD2.19 per share, just missing the estimate of CAD2.20 from analysts polled by Capital IQ. For the quarter ended Jan. 31 total revenue was CAD11.59 billion, exceeding the Street projection of CAD10.99 billion.


Dow Jones US Energy Fund (IYE) was flat and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.7% in pre-market trade.

Extraction Oil & Gas (XOG) jumped nearly 21% after the company said it swung to a Q4 profit of $0.51 per share from a $0.20 loss in the year-ago period and topped the CapIQ mean for $0.07 GAAP. It reported average net sales volumes of 85,780 barrels of oil equivalent per day in Q4.


Crude was up 1.4%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 1.4%. Natural gas was down 0.6% while the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.4%.

Gold was down 0.2%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.4%. Silver was up 0.3%, while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.5%.


Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was down 1.2% and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Consumer Goods (IYK) were inactive.

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) and retail funds SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were quiet in pre-market trade.

Kraft Heinz Co. (KHC) fell more than 26% after it disclosed that it received a subpoena from the US Securities and Exchange Commission in October as part of the commission's probe into the company's procurement accounting policies. The food and beverage company said Thursday that it conducted its own internal investigation after receiving the subpoena. As a result of findings from the investigation, the company recorded a $25 million increase to costs of products sold as an out-of-period correction as it determined the amounts were immaterial to the fourth quarter of 2018 and its previously reported 2018 and 2017 interim and year-to-date periods. The company said it is cooperating with the SEC and it is working to improve internal controls and procedures to prevent irregularities from occurring.

Kraft Heinz also said its board approved a quarterly dividend of $0.40 per share, a $0.225 reduction from the previous quarterly distribution of $0.625. It previously announced Q4 earnings that missed analysts' expectations. It also recorded a $15.4 billion non-cash charge to write down the Kraft and Oscar Mayer trademarks and its other well-known assets.

Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV) and other health care funds including Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare (IYH) were flat in pre-market trade. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.2%.

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc. (MDRX) fell more than 12% after it reported adjusted net income in Q4 increased to $0.20 per share from $0.18 in the year-earlier, missing analysts' forecasts of $0.21 compiled by Capital IQ. In a statement released Thursday after the close of trading, the company said revenue in the period increased to $442.3 million from $436.4 million in the year-earlier period. Bookings were $531 million, up 69% over the prior year period. Street estimates called for $565.5 million in total revenue. Management sees first-quarter non-GAAP revenue in a range of $430 million to $440 million. Full year bookings are forecast between $900 million and $1 billion, while 2019 non-GAAP earnings per share are guided between $0.65 and $0.70. The Street view is $0.81 per share in earnings.

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: SPY , EEM , GDX , XLF , EWZ

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