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ETF Preview: ETFs, Futures To Open in Negative Territory as 'Trump Turmoil' Hits Markets

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

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN ( VXX ): +19.2%

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

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

ProShares Trust Ultra VIX Short Term Futures ETF ( UVXY ): +1.5%

VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF ( GDX ): -0.7%

Broad Market Indicators

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

U.S. stock futures were pointing to a negative open as mounting political turmoil in Washington ignited more concerns over the future of US President Donald Trump and his stimulus measures.

News of Trump's request to drop an investigation into Russian ties with Washington raised speculation he had meddled with the FBI investigation, with a Democratic lawmaker calling for his impeachment. With fears mounting over the future of Trump's presidency, traders doubt about the implementation of agenda of tax cuts and deregulation.

In economic data news, the Labor Department said that U.S. unemployment benefits dropped unexpectedly in the week ended May 13. The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 232,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 236,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 240,000.

Power Play: 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.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) was up 1.9% after it reported Q1 earnings were $1 per share, up 2% from $0.98 the same period last year and beating an estimate of analysts polled by Capital IQ of $0.96 per share. The company said its revenue in the quarter ended April 30 was $117.54 billion, up from $115.90 billion in the same period a year ago, and beating analyst estimates of $117.07 billion. Wal-Mart reported an increase of 1.4% in comparable sales, excluding fuel, compared with a 1.0% increase in the same period a year ago.

The company projected fiscal Q2 EPS of $1.00 to $1.08, excluding "an estimated net benefit of approximately $0.05 from the sale of Suburbia, the company's apparel format in Mexico." Analysts have been expecting Q2 EPS of $1.07. Wal-Mart Stores also projects comparable store sales for the 13-week period ending July 28 to be up 1.5% to up 2% at Walmart U.S., excluding fuel; and up 1% to up 1.5% at Sam's Club, excluding fuel.

Winners and Losers

Financial

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 0.6%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 1.1% and its bearish counterpart, FAZ was up 1.2%.

Deutsche Bank AG (DB) Chairman Paul Achleitner said the bank expects former board members to pay "substantial sums" for their role in misconduct that threw the bank into turmoil, Reuters reported, citing remarks made at the annual shareholders' meeting. Separately, fund manager Union Investment urged fellow shareholders to vote against measures that give the bank's board broad authorization to carry out further capital increases, Reuters said. DB edged lower in pre-market trade.

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 also flat.

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

Facebook (FB) was down 0.1% after it received a 110 million euro ($122 million) fine from the European Commission, the European Union's antitrust regulator, for providing misleading information during a probe of its 2014 takeover of the messaging service WhatsApp. The European Commission said that Facebook informed it during the investigation into the 2014 deal that it would be unable to match Facebook users' accounts to WhatsApp users' accounts. It also confirmed this in response to an information request from the regulator. However, in August 2016, WhatsApp updated its terms of service and privacy policy, including the possibility of linking WhatsApp users' phone numbers with Facebook users' profiles, the commission said, adding it raised objections regarding the matter in December 2016 after it found that contrary to Facebook's statements in 2014, "the technical possibility of automatically matching Facebook and WhatsApp users' identities already existed in 2014, and that Facebook staff were aware of such a possibility."

Energy

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was flat and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 0.4%.

Noble Energy (NBL) said it has agreed to sell its Marcellus Midstream assets for $765 million in cash to the private Quantum Energy Partners. The sold assets were defined as a 50% stake in CONE Gathering and 21.7 million common and subordinated limited partnership units, and the transaction is expected to close in Q3. Noble said the sold limited partnership units represent a 33.5% ownership interest in the public CONE Midstream Partners (CNNX) and that CONE Gathering owns the general partner of CONE Midstream.

Commodities

Crude was down 1.2%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 1%. Natural gas was up 0.7% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 0.8%.

Gold was down 0.1%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.1%. Silver was down 1.1% while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 1%.

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.

Glycomimetics (GLYC) was up 21% after the company unveiled new data from an ongoing phase 2 trial of GMI-1271 that showed higher-than-expected remission rates and lower-than-expected induction-related mortality rates in acute myeloid leukemia patients. The company said that treatment with GMI-1271 continued to be well tolerated, without any obvious incremental toxicity observed when GMI-1271 was added to chemotherapy.

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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