ETF Preview: ETFs, Futures Higher Even as Jobs Growth Slumps in March; Oil, Gold Futures Surge Higher Following U.S. Airstrikes in Syria

An image of a stock price rising in value Credit: Shutterstock photo

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

SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): -0.1%

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.2%

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN ( VXX ): +1.1%

iShares Russell 2000 ETF ( IWM ): -0.1%

ProShares Trust Ultra VIX Short Term Futures ETF ( UVXY ): +2%

Broad Market Indicators

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

U.S. stock futures were pointing higher as Wall Street digested the March jobs report, which showed 98,000 new jobs were created - the smallest increase in nearly a year - compared with forecasts for a 185,000 rise in nonfarm jobs. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate was at its lowest level in almost ten years, falling to 4.5% from 4.7%.

Crude oil futures surged higher following news of U.S. missile strikes against a Syria military airbase, in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians in what is believed to be a rebel-held town. Although Syria itself is a small oil producer, tensions in the Middle East often spark concerns over crude supply.

Gold prices also rose as news of the attacks pushed investors into haven plays.

Power Play: Health Care

Health care funds Health Care SPDR (XLV), Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were flat. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was flat.

Aurinia Pharmaceuticals (AUPH) was up 8.2% after a 13G filing revealed hedge fund Lumira Capital's new 4.8% stake in the company. Lumira Capital's holdings in the company consists of 2.9 million shares. The company also said late Thursday that confirmatory data from a phase 3 clinical trial and a recently completed phase 2b study should support regulatory submissions in the US, Europe and Japan for the development of Voclosporin in treating active lupus nephritis.

Winners and Losers


Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 0.1%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 0.1% while its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 0.1%.

Deutsche Bank (DB) was down 0.3% after it said it has successfully completed a capital increase from authorized capital against cash contributions for proceeds of approximately EUR8 billion ($8.51 billion). The number of no par value shares of Deutsche Bank has increased by 687.5 million, from 1,379.3 million to 2,066.8 million through the public offering of new shares via subscription rights. The subscription price was EUR11.65 per share. Had the capital increase been completed at the end of last year,, Deutsche Bank's common equity tier 1 ratio on that date would have been 14.1% on a pro forma CRD4 fully loaded basis rather than 11.8%, the bank said.


Tech funds 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 quiet in pre-market trading . SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was also flat.

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

Alphabet's (GOOG) Google unit said it will make the fact check label in Google News available everywhere and will expand it into Search globally in all languages. The company said users conducting a search on Google that returns a result containing fact checks will see the information clearly displayed on the search results page. The snippet will display information on the claim, who made the claim, and the fact check of that particular claim.

Separately, YouTube said it will no longer serve ads on videos until a channel reaches 10,000 lifetime views. The new threshold is designed to give the company enough information to determine the validity of a channel and to confirm if a channel is following our community guidelines and advertiser policies. YouTube said that by keeping the threshold to 10,000 views, it will ensure there will be minimal impact on its aspiring creators.


Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was flat while Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.3% in pre-market trading.

C&J Energy Services (CJ) fell 9.9% after the company said Friday that it has priced a public offering totaling 7 million common shares at $32.50 per share. The company is selling 6 million shares, while certain shareholders are offering 1 million shares. The company plans to use the net proceeds for general corporate purposes, including capital expenditure and growth initiatives.


Crude was up 0.8%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.9%. Natural gas was down 1.4% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.3%.

Gold was up 1.1%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 1%. Silver was up 0.5% while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.7%.


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

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 also flat.

Ford Motor Company (F) was up 0.4% after it said it plans to introduce its best-selling Build Ford Tough truck brand in China with the Ford Ranger mid-size pick-up truck being launched from 2018. Ford said that while pick-up trucks currently represent less than 2% of the market, China is already the fourth largest truck market in the world with 14% growth last year. It said China has been easing restrictions on pick-up usage in city centers.

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.

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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