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ETF Preview: ETFs, Futures Higher Following Import, Export Prices; Consumer Sentiment Data Still Ahead

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

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

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

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

VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF ( GDX ): +0.5%

VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short Term ETN ( TVIX ): +0.2%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV were higher. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was down 0.02%.

US futures were pointing higher following the report that the import price index rose 0.3% in April driven by higher oil costs. This was softer than forecasts for a 0.5% gain. Excluding fuel, import prices rose 0.2% last month. Meanwhile, export prices rose 0.6% versus the 0.3% consensus.

Still ahead, a reading for consumer sentiment for May will be released at 10 am ET.

Power Play: Health Care

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

RXI Pharmaceuticals (RXII) rose more than 13% after it said it entered into a research collaboration with Iovance Biotherapeutics to evaluate potential synergies with the two companies' respective proprietary technologies to treat cancer. Financial terms were not disclosed. Under the research collaboration, the companies will investigate and expand the recently published data with TIL and sd-rxRNA products, which RXi Pharmaceuticals said demonstrated potentially enhanced tumor killing activity.

Winners and Losers

Financial

The Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 0.1%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 0.5% and its bearish counterpart Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X shares (FAZ) was flat..

Virtu Financial (VIRT) shares were more than 1% lower after the company priced an underwritten secondary offering of 15 million of its own shares at $28.00 per share -- a discount to Thursday's closing price. The underwriters have been granted an option to purchase up to 450,000 additional shares from Havelock, one of the sellers, and up to 1.8 million additional shares from Virtu. The net proceeds received by Virtu for such shares sold by it will be used to purchase an equivalent number of common interest units in Virtu Financial LLC and corresponding shares of Class D common stock.

Technology

Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was up 1.3% 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 flat.

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

MoSys (MOSY) was up more than 50% after the company reported late Thursday Q1 adjusted earnings of $0.06 per share, compared to a loss of $0.01 per share in the same period a year ago. One analyst polled expected a loss of $0.04 per share. Total revenue of $4.2 million was up from $1.2 million in the same period a year ago and narrowly topped the Street projection of $4 million. The company expects Q2 revenue in the range of $4.3 million to $4.5 million, exceeding the Street estimate of $4.2 million.

Energy

Dow Jones US Energy Fund (IYE) was flat and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.3%.

Westport Fuel Systems (WPRT) fell some 4% after it reported late Thursday net loss from continuing operations of $0.10 per share, compared to a net loss of $0.12 per share in the prior year period which came in a penny wider than the Street estimate provided by Capital IQ. Consolidated revenue was $67.6 million, up from $60 million reported for the same period last year and higher than the $61.7 million Street estimate. For 2018, the company expects consolidated revenues of $255 million to $275 million. The Street estimate calls for revenue of $263.3 million.

Commodities

Crude was up 0.1%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.2%. Natural gas was down 0.1% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 0.4%.

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

Consumer

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

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 quiet in the pre-market session.

Ford (F) sales in China totaled 69,503 vehicles in April, a 26% decrease from a year ago. For the year-to-date, sales are down 21% to 276,642. Ford's joint venture with China's Changan Automobile -- Changan Ford -- saw sales drop 35% in April and were down 28% for the year so far. Sales for Jiangling Motors decreased 6% to 24,000 in April and were down 6% year-to-date. F shares fell 0.2%.

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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