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ETF Preview: ETFs, Futures Mostly Higher on Bullard Comments; Fed Speakers, Factory Orders Data Ahead

Active broad-market exchange-traded funds in pre-market trade:

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.24%

iShares S&P 500 ( IVV ): flat

PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ): +0.25%

iShares Russell 2000 ( IWM ): +0.4%

iShares Russell 1000 Growth ( IWF ): +0.22%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (EEM): -0.2%

United States Oil Fund (USO): -0.4%

SPDR Gold Shares (GLD): +0.2%

Select Financial Sector SPDRS (XLF):+0.19%

Pre-Market Most Active:

SPY, +0.24%

IWM, +0.4%

EEM, -0.14%

GDX, +1.1%

VXX, -0.7%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, are mostly higher ahead of the session's open. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) is up 0.2%.

U.S. stock futures are also pointing to a firmer start as markets were reassured by comments from St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who said in an interview with CNBC that the Federal Reserve does not need to hurry into tapering its bond-buying purchases. Two more Fed speakers will be the focus of attention today - Fed Governor Jerome Powell will be giving a speech on Fed policy and emerging markets at 11:40 am ET, and Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren is also scheduled to give a speech on the economy at 2 pm ET. Investors are also looking forward to the August and September factory orders data, due out 10 am ET.

Power Play:

Technology -

Tech ETFs are leaning higher as the sector looks to open Monday's session higher. 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) are flat after closing the previous session in positive territory.

Semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) and SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) are headed for a flat to higher open.

In sector news, BlackBerry (BBRY) is now down some 18%, slipping below its 52-week low as the company said it is now abandoning its plan to sell itself to its largest shareholder, private equity firm Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., according to The Globe and Mail. The company also said that raise $1 billion in new funds, and appoint a new chief executive officer, as well as some directors. BBRY shares had been trading higher, up about 5%, prior to the announcement.

Winners and Losers

Financial -

Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) has turned positive and is now up 0.2%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) is up 0.9%. Its bearish counterpart, FAZ, is down 0.8%.

Among financial stocks, CME Group Inc. (CME), a global derivatives marketplace, reports revenues of $715 million up from $683.2 million a year ago and operating income of $401 million for Q3 2013. Excluding items, EPS was $0.75. Analysts expected $0.73 per share on $712 million in revenue for Q3.

Energy -

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) are flat - but both ETFs touched new 52-week highs in the previous session.

In sector news, solar module manufacturer Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ) is up 6% in early trade after reporting that it expects to be profitable at the net-income level (on a US-GAAP basis) in Q3 2013. Revenue is seen in the range of $470 million to $495 million, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $495 million. Furthermore, solar module shipments are expected to be between 460 MW to 480 MW, exceeding the company's guidance of 410 MW to 430 MW.

Commodities -

December crude is down 0.4%; natural gas for January delivery is down 2.7%. United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 0.4%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) is down 2.75%.

Gold and silver for December delivery are higher, up 0.49% and 0.17%, respectively. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.2%; iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 0.2%.

Consumer -

Consumer ETFs Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) are pointing to a firmer start.

In sector news, CST Brands (CST), a retailer of transportation fuels and convenience goods in North America, reported Q3 earnings of $0.57 per share, ex one-time items, compared with the prior-year period's $0.31 per share. Revenues were $3.3 billion, down slightly from $3.4 billion in the same quarter last year. Analysts polled by Capital IQ were expecting EPS of $0.56 on revenues of $3.34 billion.

Industrial -

Industrial ETFs iShares Trust Dow Jones U.S. Industrial Sector Index Fund (IYJ), Vanguard Industrials (VIS) and Select Sector SPDR-Industrial (XLI) are expected to open higher.

Among stocks, shares in FreeSeas Inc. (FREE), a transporter of dry-bulk cargoes, is up near 10% after saying it has entered into a definitive agreement with Crede, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Crede Capital Group, LLC, for an investment of $10 million through the private placement of two series of zero-dividend convertible preferred shares and Series A and B Warrants.

Healthcare

Health Care SPDR (XLV), Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT), and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) are pointing to a firmer start. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) is also pointing higher.

In sector news, bio-therapeutics company Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. (PSTI) is up 4% in the pre-market session after reporting results from the study of its PLacental eXpanded (PLX) cells. The developer of placenta-based cell therapies said PLX cells proved to be "safe" in an animal study assessing maternal and fetal toxicity. It will pursue the clinical development of PLX-PAD cells for the indication of pre-eclampsia based on these results, it also said.

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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