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ETF Preview: ETFs, Futures Point Higher But Could Face Pressure on Yellen Testimony, Economic Data

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

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

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

VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF ( GDX ): -1.7%

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): -0.1%

Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares ( JNUG ): -5.9%

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 higher in pre-market trade but could face some pressure ahead of Fed Chair Janet Yellen's second testimony before the House of Financial Services Committee and amid a flurry of economic data releases.

The Consumer Price index for January climbed 0.6%, with the core up 0.3%, against expectations for 0.3% and 0.2% respectively. This marks the biggest headline gain since February 2013, and since August on the core.

The Commerce Department's retails sales for January rose 0.4% , compared with forecasts for 0.1% increase, down from 0.6% growth a month ago. Less autos and gas, the index was up 0.8%, versus the expected climb of 0.3%.

And, Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Empire State Manufacturing Survey for February rose 12.2 points to 18.7 after dipping 1.1 points to 6.5 in January. Estimates were for 7.5, up from 6.5 last year.

Still ahead, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors' Industrial Production data for January will be issued at 9.15 am ET. The Atlanta Fed's Business Inflation Expectations survey results for February will be released at 10.00 am ET. The National Association of Home Builders' housing market index for February will be revealed at 10 am ET. And, The Energy Information Administration or EIA's Petroleum Status Report for the week will be released at 10.30 am ET.

Power Play: 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.

Celsion (CLSN) was down 42.4% after the oncology drug development company, said Wednesday that it has priced a public offering with expected total gross proceeds of approximately $5 million. The offering was priced at $0.23 per share of common stock, with each share of common stock sold with one five-year warrant to purchase 0.75 of a share of common stock, at an exercise price of $0.23 per share. The offering is expected to close on or about Feb. 21, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions. The estimated net proceeds to the company are expected to be $4.3 million, excluding the proceeds, if any, from the exercise of the warrants. Celsion said it intends to use the net proceeds from this offering primarily to continue funding development of OPTIMA, its ongoing Phase III clinical trial of ThermoDox in patients with primary liver cancer and OVATION, its ongoing phase I clinical trial of GEN-1 in patients with advanced ovarian cancer and for general corporate purposes, including research and development activities, capital expenditures and working capital.

Winners and Losers

Financial

Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 0.6%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 1% and its bearish counterpart, FAZ was down 0.9%.

Dynex Capital (DX) reported Q4 core earnings fell to $0.20 per share from $0.25 a year ago, in line with the average estimate from analysts polled by Capital IQ. Net interest income fell to $16.1 million from $19.7 million but exceeded the $15.2 million consensus.

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.

Photronics (PLAB) was down 7.5% after it reported fiscal Q1 revenues of $109.8 million, versus $130.0 million in the same period last year. This beat the $108.9 million Capital IQ consensus. EPS for the quarter, which ended Jan. 31, were $0.03, versus $0.17 last year. This missed the Capital IQ estimate by a penny. For fiscal Q2, Photronics expects revenues to be between $105 million and $115 million and net income attributable to Photronics, Inc. shareholders to be between $0.01 and $0.07 per diluted share. The Street is at revenues of $113.0 million and EPS of $0.08.

Energy

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was flat and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) were down 0.3% pre-market.

NGL Energy Partners (NGL) said it has amended and extended its revolving credit facility to increase the borrowing capacity and extend the maturity. The term of the facility was extended to October 2021, the company said. The amended facility has an initial borrowing capacity of $1.77 billion, and contains an accordion feature of up to an additional $300 million. The loan includes a $1 billion facility for the partnership's working capital requirements and other general corporate purposes and a $765 million facility for acquisitions, internal growth projects and other capital expenditures. The amended facility includes a similar pricing and covenant package to the previous facility, with the addition of a senior secured leverage covenant and additional flexibility for investments and loans.

Commodities

Crude was down 0.4%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.6%. Natural gas was up 2.3% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 1%.

Gold was down 0.4%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.8%. Silver was down 0.4% while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.8%.

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.

SodaStream (SODA) was up 7.1% after it reported Q4 EPS of $0.71, up from $0.24 in the same period a year ago and exceeding the estimate of $0.31 from analysts polled by CapIQ. Total revenues of $131.8 million were up from $112.9 million in the same period a year ago and topped the Street projection of $124.5 million.

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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