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ETF Preview: ETFs, Futures Higher as Street Mulls Q1 GDP, Weekly Jobless Claims Data

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

SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): +2%

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.04%

PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): -0.5%

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): -0.5%

United States Oil Fund ( USO ): +1%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV were inching higher. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was down 0.5%.

U.S. stock futures were pointing to a positive open as investors evaluated the better-than-expected final reading of Q1 GDP, while jobless claims unexpectedly edged higher.

Data released at 8:30 a.m. showed the third GDP reading for Q1 of 1.4%, ahead of forecast of 1.2%. Jobless claims came in at 244,000 in the June 24 week vs estimate of 241,000, according to data compiled by Econoday.

Federal Reserve President James Bullard is scheduled to give a speech at 1 pm ET.

Financial shares led gainers after the Federal Reserve approved the capital plans of more than 30 banks after they passed the central bank's annual Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR), paving the way for major financial institutions to prepare dividend payments and share buybacks.

Power Play: Financial

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 2%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 4.3% and its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 4.3%.

Bank of America (BAC) rose 3.1% after the lender said late Wednesday it plans to boost its quarterly dividend by 60% to $0.12 per share starting in Q3, adding that its board authorized a $12 billion share buyback plan after the Federal Reserve did not object to both actions. With the go-ahead to boost its dividend, Bank Of America shareholder Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) will be able to exercise a stock swap of preferred shares into common shares, reports said citing a Feb. 25 letter from Berkshire CEO Warren Buffett.

Winners and Losers

Technology

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

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

Progress Software (PRGS) rose 3.8% after the company reported Q2 non-GAAP earnings of $0.42 per share, compared with the prior-year period's $0.33 per share. Analysts polled by Capital IQ were expecting EPS of $0.37. Non-GAAP revenue was $93.4 million, down from $96.7 million in the same quarter last year. The Street view is for revenue of $91.5 million. The company expects fiscal 2017 non-GAAP EPS of $1.73 - $1.78 on revenue of $391 million - $396 million. The Street view is for EPS of $1.67 on revenue of $392.5 million. For Q3, the company is targeting non-GAAP earnings of $0.41 to $0.43 per share on revenue of $93 to $96 million, vs. Street estimates of $0.41 per share in earnings on revenue of $97 million.

Energy

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was quiet in pre-market trading while Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.4%.

Carrizo Oil & Gas (CRZO) was down 3.3% after it said late Wednesday that it priced an underwritten public offering of 15.6 million shares of its common stock at $14.60 per share, or a 6.5% discount from the stock's previous close. The company intends to use the net proceeds for acquisitions, debt repayments and for general corporate purposes.

Commodities

Crude was up 1%. United States Oil Fund ( USO ) was up 1.1%. Natural gas was down 0.1% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 0.6%.

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

Health Care

Health care funds Health Care SPDR (XLV) was down 0.1% while 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 flat.

Akebia Therapeutics (AKBA) was down 5.5% after it said it has priced an underwritten public offering of 4 million shares of common stock at $14.50 per share. Underwriters have a 30-day option to purchase an additional 600,000 shares. Proceeds of approximately $58 million,will be used for the development of vadadustat, for additional manufacturing capabilities, for the clinical development of AKB-5169, and for discovery, research and preclinical studies of other product candidates, the company said. The remainder of proceeds may be used for working capital, business development and other general corporate purposes.

Consumer

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.

Pier 1 Imports (PIR) was down 11.9% after it reported Q1 sales of $409.5 million, down from $418.4 million in the year ago quarter and below the analyst consensus of $421 million on Capital IQ. Comparable sales were flat, vs. expectations of a 1.5% rise. Loss for the quarter was $0.04 per share, down from a year ago loss of $0.07 per share. Analysts were expecting a non-GAAP loss of $0.05 per share.

For Q2, the company expects sales growth to be about flat, with comparable sales growth flat to up 2% and a loss range of $0.08 to $0.04 per share. The Street expects comparable sales to be up 2.2% and a loss of $0.03 per share on a non-GAAP and GAAP basis. For the full year, the company is expecting sales growth of about 1.5% to 2.5%, comparable sales growth of 1% to 2% and earnings of $0.46 to $0.52 per share. Analysts are targeting comparable sales growth of 1.3% and earnings of $0.49 per share.

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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