ETF Preview: ETFs Edge Higher, Futures Inch Lower as Trade Tensions Persist

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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.1%

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

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): -0.4%

iShares Inc iShares MSCI Brazil ETF ( EWZ ): +0.1%

Invesco QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): +0.1%

Broad Market Indicators

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

US stock futures were pointing to modest losses ahead of the open as trade tensions continue to weigh on market sentiment following last week's developments between the U.S. and China. China said it will imposed tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. products as a response to an earlier announcement by the U.S. of an additional 25% tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports.

Mainland China's central bank, the People's Bank of China, said that it will protect the yuan from falling further against the U.S. dollar.

Meanwhile, the White House is slated to detail the reimposition of US sanctions on Iran.

No major economc data releases are slated for today.

Power Play: Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV) was up 0.3% and other health care funds Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were inactive. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was quiet in pre-market trading .

Ovid Therapeutics (OVID) fell nearly 32% after it said the phase 2 STARS trial of OV101 achieved its primary endpoint of safety and tolerability. The company said the investigational medicine showed a favorable safety profile and was well tolerated in adults and adolescents with Angelman syndrome. Ovid said it plans to initiate in Q4 an open-label extension study (named ELARA); Angelman syndrome patients who completed any prior OV101 study may be eligible to receive the investigational medicine in this study.

Winners and Losers


The Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was inactive. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was also quiet while its bearish counterpart Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X shares (FAZ) was up 1% in the pre-market session.

State Auto Financial Corporation (STFC) reported Q2 earnings of $0.14 per share, down from $0.21 in the same period a year ago which fell short of a single forecast of $0.20 provided by Capital IQ. Total revenue of $341.7 million was down from $355.7 million in the same period a year ago but exceeded a single forecast for $332.1 million.


Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was down 0.5% and other tech funds 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.

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

Consolidated Communications Holdings (CNSL) rose more than 1% after it said on Sunday that it reached tentative three-year agreements with unions that represent about 1,200 workers in Northern New England. The agreements are subject to ratification by members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Communication Workers of America.


Dow Jones US Energy Fund (IYE) was flat and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.5% in pre-market trade.

Westmoreland Resource Partners, LP (WMLP) tumbled 46% after the company said net loss in the quarter ended June 30 widened to $4.10 per share from an $0.08 loss in the year-ago period. Sales dropped to $64.3 million from $81.1 million last year. It noted its term loan matures on Dec. 31, and accordingly the principal balance of $315.9 million is classified as a current liability. However, it said it does not currently have liquidity or access to additional capital sufficient to pay off this debt by its maturity date and thus, there is question of the company's ability to continue. It said its consolidated financial statements (unaudited) are prepared on a going concern basis and do not include any adjustments that might result from uncertainty about its ability to continue as a going concern.


Crude was up 1.3%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 1.1%. Natural gas was down 1% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.1%.

Gold was up 0.3%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.4%. Silver was up 0.6%, while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.7%.


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

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

Tyson Foods (TSN) rose marginally as the branded food manufacturer posted Q3 adjusted earnings of $1.50 per share, up from $1.28 in the comparable period a year ago and exceeding the estimate of $1.38 from analysts polled by CapIQ. For the quarter ended June 30 total revenue of $10.05 billion was up from $9.85 billion in the comparable period a year ago and fell short of the Street projection of $10.22 billion. On July 31 the company lowered fiscal 2018 adjusted EPS guidance to a range of $5.70 to $6.00 from a previous view of $6.55 to $6.70. The new guidance straddles the Street estimate of $5.81. The company affirmed fiscal 2018 sales guidance expecting growth of approximately 6% to between $40 billion and $41 billion. The guidance straddles the estimate of $40.48 billion. The company introduced fiscal 2019 guidance expecting sales of $42 billion, exceeding the Street projection of $41.25 billion.

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 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

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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