Active broad-market exchange-traded funds ahead of Friday's regular session:
iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): +1.1%
SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.03%
VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF ( GDX ): +1.1%
iShares Inc iShares MSCI Brazil ETF ( EWZ ): +0.4%
Invesco QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): +0.6%
Broad Market Indicators
Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including IWM and IVV, were higher. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) were up 0.6%.
US stock futures were looking to open the regular session in positive territory, as Wall Street shakes off concerns about a global growth slowdown and the lack of progress in the US-China trade talks. Investors are also looking ahead to another batch of economic data.
Equities are expected to be influenced by Friday's quadruple witching, or the expiration of stock-index and individual stock options and futures at the same time.
At 8:30 am ET, the Empire State Manufacturing Survey is expected to show a reading of 10.0, according to Econoday estimates, up from the prior reading of 8.8.
Next, industrial production for the month of February will be released at 9:15 am ET, with Econoday showing expectations for an increase of 0.4%, compared with the prior month's decline of 0.6%. Capacity utilization for the same month is anticipated to be up 78.5%, just a little above the prior month's 78.2%.
Finally, at 10 am The University of Michigan will release its March consumer sentiment data, with Econoday estimates for a reading of 95.2 versus last month's 93.8 figure. And, the Labor Department's JOLTS report is expected to show an increase of 7.2 million in job openings for January, compared with the previous month's 7.4 million.
Power Play: Consumer
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Consumer Goods (IYK) were inactive.
Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was down 0.1% and retail funds SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were quiet in pre-market trade.
Kirkland's (KIRK) fell more than 5% after i t report ed fiscal Q4 earnings of $0.95 per diluted share, up from $0.79 in the comparable period a year ago. That beat the estimate of $0.92 from three analysts polled by Capital IQ.
For the quarter ended Feb. 2, total revenue of $216.1 million was down from $224.6 million in the comparable period a year ago. That missed the Street projection of $222.7 million by three analysts polled by Capital IQ. Comparable store sales, including e-commerce sales, decreased 3.3% for the quarter. Kirkland's expects fiscal 2019 EPS in the range of $0.15 to $0.30. The company expects total sales for fiscal 2019 to be flat to up 2% from $647.1 million in fiscal 2018. The guidance implies a range of $647.1 million to $660 million, in line with to exceeding the Street projection of $647.1 million.
Winners and Losers
The Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was flat in the early pre-market session. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) and its bearish counterpart Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X Shares (FAZ) were also inactive.
Reliance Industries said late Thursday that Brookfield Asset Management (BAM) has agreed to acquire its East-West Pipeline for INR13,000 crore ($2 billion). Under the agreement, the asset management company's infrastructure investment trust will acquire 100% equity interest in Pipeline Infrastructure Private Ltd., which owns and operates the East West Pipeline. As a result of the transaction, the existing pipeline usage agreement has been reworked and the reserved capacity reduced to 33 million metric standard cubic metres per day from 56 MMSCMD. Moreover, any unutilized capacity payment by Reliance will be the difference between INR500 crore a quarter and actual revenue earned by Pipeline Infrastructure, the companies said.
Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) 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 both quiet in pre-market trade.
Broadcom (AVGO) reported better-than-expected Q4 non-GAAP earnings of $5.55 a share from $5.12 a year ago and compared with the consensus on Capital IQ for $5.23 a share. The company's stock was up 5.3% after hours, even as revenue gains of 9% year-on-year to $5.79 billion missed views for $5.83 billion. Broadcom continues to see FY 2019 revenue of $24.5 billion. Its board approved a quarterly cash dividend of $2.65 per share, payable on March 29 to investors on record by March 21. The Street view for revenue is $24.36 billion.
Dow Jones US Energy Fund (IYE) was flat and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 0.3%.
Kosmos Energy (KOS) has filed a registration statement for the secondary offering of 35 million common shares for up to $5.96 apiece. The oil company will not receive any proceeds from the offering.
Crude was down 0.2%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.4%. Natural gas was down 0.8% while the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.8%.
Gold was up 0.6%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.6%. Silver was up 1.3%, while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 1.2%.
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%.
Arcadia Biosciences (RKDA) rose some 31% after it said the US Food and Drug Administration has approved the company's Sonova gamma-linolenic acid safflower oil for use in feline diets. The product was previously approved by the FDA for use in canine diets.