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ETF Preview: ETFs, Futures Lower as Wall Street Remains Cautious on Political Concerns

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

SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): -0.6%

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): -0.3%

VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF ( GDX ): +2.9%

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): -0.3%

Direxion Daily Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares ( NUGT ): +8.7%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV edged lower. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was down 0.2%.

U.S. stock futures were in negative territory ahead of the open, with investors remaining cautious as concerns over how the new policies of President Donald Trump's administration are affecting the relationships of the U.S. with its long time allies and trade partners like Australia and Mexico.

In economic data news, initial jobless claims dropped 14,000 to 246,000 - below the expected 253,000; meanwhile, continuing claims slid 39,000 to 2.064 million.

Productivity posted a 1.3% growth rate in Q4 versus the consensus for an increase of 1.2%. Unit labor costs climbed to a 1.7% rate.

Power Play: Technology

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 flat.

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

Kulicke and Soffa Industries (KLIC) was up 12.8% after reporting fiscal Q1 earnings of $0.22 per share, better than the $0.12 average estimate from analysts polled by Capital IQ. Revenue rose 37.9% to $149.6 million and beat the $140.6 million consensus.

Winners and Losers

Financial

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down up 0.8%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 0.9% and its bearish counterpart, FAZ was up 1.1%.

Deutsche Bank AG (DB) was down 4.5% after it reported a Q4 loss of EUR1.36 ($1.47) per share, up from a loss of EUR1.53 a year ago and less than the EUR1.43 loss per share that had been expected by analysts polled by Capital IQ. Total net revenue rose to EUR7.07 billion from EUR6.64 billion a year ago but was short of the EUR7.21 billion consensus estimate.

Energy

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was flat while Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.1% in pre-market trade.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) ADRs were up 1.6% reported Q4 basic earnings excluding items of $0.22 per share, down from $0.25 a year ago and missing the $0.35 average estimate from analysts polled by Capital IQ. Total revenue rose to $64,77 billion from $58.15 billon but missed the $68.76 billion consensus estimate.

Commodities

Crude was up 0.3%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.7%. Natural gas was down 1.4% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.6%.

Gold was up 1.4%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 1.3%. Silver was up 1.3% while iShares Silver Trust SLV) was down 0.5%.

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 down 0.7%.

IDEXX Laboratories (IDXX) was up 5.5% after reporting that its Q4 earnings rose 21% to $0.58 per share, exceeding the $0.51 average estimate from analysts polled by Capital IQ. Revenue rose to $443 million from $399.7 million, beating the $435.6 million consensus. For 2017, IDEXX said it expects revenue between $1.91 billion and $1.94 billion, straddling the $1.92 billon consensus, and reported EPS of $2.85 to $3.01, above the $2.83 estimate.

Consumer

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.

Ralph Lauren (RL) was down 7.8% after it said CEO Stefan Larsson will depart from the company on May 1, while reporting stronger-than-expected profit for fiscal Q3. A search for a new CEO will be conducted, the company said in a statement before markets opened on Thursday. The company said it will continue to execute the "Way Forward Plan" announced in June, and chief financial officer Jane Nielsen will lead the execution of the plan until a new CEO joins the company. Adjusted EPS fell to $1.86 in the period ended Dec. 31, from $2.27 a year earlier. That beat the $1.64 average estimate of analysts surveyed by Capital IQ. Q3 revenue decreased to $1.71 billion from $1.95 billion. That matched the analyst consensus. For Q4, the company expects revenues to be down mid-teens on a reported basis. Analysts had predicted a decrease of $16.8%. For fiscal 2017, the company is maintaining its guidance. Consolidated revenue is expected to decrease at a low-double digit rate. Analysts had projected a drop of $10.4%.

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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