ETF Preview: Broad Market ETFs Gain; Healthcare in Focus Amid Data Presentations

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

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM ): -1.23%

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.06%, hit an all-time high

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): -0.32%

PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): +0.13%, reached its 13-year high

Market Vectors Gold Miners ( GDX ): -1.21%

EPI +2.5%

DUST +1.8%

NUGT -1.27%

FAZ -1.2%

GDXJ -1.1%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV were edging higher pre-market Monday. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was up 0.12%. The fund touched a 13-year high on Friday.

U.S. stock futures are pointing to a higher open, with shares set to continue last week's record-breaking streak. Sentiment is being helped Monday by news China's manufacturing activity expanded at the fastest pace in five months in May. The Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 50.8 in May, compared with the 50.7 median estimate of analysts.

Power Play: Health Care

Health care stocks may be in focus with many companies presenting data from clinical trials at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Pharmacyclics (PCYC) jumped 8% on news of a promising leukemia treatment, while Cytokinetics (CYTK) plunged after one of its leading drug candidates failed to meet primary endpoints.

Health Care SPDR (XLV) iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) and Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) are unchanged and all closed higher on Friday. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) ended down and is inactive pre-market.

In corporate news, Cytokinetics (CYTK) shares fell in Monday's pre-market session, after the biopharmaceutical company released data showing in a Phase IIb trial of Tirasemtiv in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the drug--which is the lead candidate from its skeletal-muscle-contractility program--failed to meet the primary efficacy endpoint.

CYTK was down 15% at $4.22 in recent pre-market trading , nearing the low end of its 52-week range of $3.96 to $14.28.

Winners and Losers


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 inactive and ended mixed on Friday. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was unchanged and closed higher.

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

In corporate news, Semiconductor company Broadcom (BRCM) said it is considering strategic alternatives for its cellular-baseband business including a potential sale or wind-down of it, which the connectivity provider expects would cut annual expenses by about $600 million.


Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was flat. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 0.22%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 0.3%.

Among sector news, Japan's Dai-ichi Life Co is in advanced talks to buy Protective Life Corp (PL) in a deal that could be worth over $5 billion, Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources. Dai-ichi, Japan's second largest private life insurance company, confirmed it's looking for a U.S. acquisition, but said nothing has been decided, the news agency reported. Protective Life is up 9% pre-market and closed at $52.30 on Friday, with a 52-week range of $36.36 - $54.4.


Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) were weaker, but near their record highs.

Among stocks, Oil drilling contractor Seadrill (SDRL) edged higher in recent pre-market trading on Monday after receiving a contract from Total Upstream Nigeria for employment of the newbuild ultra-deepwater drillship West Jupiter, in support of the EGINA ultra-deep offshore project in Nigeria. The 5-year contract has a total revenue potential of approximately US$1.1 billion inclusive of mobilization.


Crude was edging higher, up 0.08%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was flat. Natural gas was up 1.19% and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 0.4%.

Gold was leaning higher and silver was up 0.55%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.26% and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.06%.


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

Retail ETFs SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) climbed to record highs on Friday. PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) was flat. All are inactive so far Monday.

Among stocks, Conn's Inc (CONN) reported fiscal Q1 earnings and sales that exceeded the street's average estimates while reaffirming its guidance for fiscal 2015. The retailer of electronics, home appliances, furniture and mattresses said adjusted diluted earnings in the quarter ended April 30 rose 31.1% to $0.80 per share compared to the $0.73 average estimate from analysts polled by Capital IQ. Sales rose 33.6% to $335.4 million, also exceeding he $329 million consensus estimate.

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

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

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