ETF Preview: ETFs, Futures Point Higher, With Dow Near 20,000 Ahead of FOMC Policy Announcemnt

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

SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): -0.4%

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

PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): -0.1%

VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF ( GDX ): +0.3%

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): -0.9%

Broad-Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, inched higher. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was up 0.1%.

U.S. stock futures were higher but were trading in a narrow range, with the Dow industrial Average hovering near the 20,000 milestone. Investors are awaiting the policy announcement from the Federal Open Market Committee meeting, which will conclude this afternoon.

In economic data news, retail sales for November rose 0.1%, and were up 0.2% ex-autos, weaker than the 0.4% increase expected for both. Meanwhile, producer prices for the same month accelerated to 1.3% year-over-year compared to 0.8%, and core prices rose 0.4%; both exceeded forecasts.

Looking ahead, industrial production and capacity utilization for November will be released at 9:15 am ET. This will be followed by business inventories at 10 am ET.

Power Play: Health Care

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 up 0.1%.

Vericel (VCEL) catapulted 51.% after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the company's autologous culture chondrocytes on porcine collagen membrane, or Maci, for the treatment of symptomatic, full-thickness cartilage defects of the knee in adult patients. The approval of MACI is based on the SUMMIT study, a two-year program in which a majority of the patients participated in the extension of the research. Additionally, MACI is the first FDA-approved cellularized scaffold product that applies tissue engineering processes to grow cells on scaffolds using healthy cartilage tissue from the patient's own knee, the company said in a statement.

Winners and Losers


Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was down 0.4%. Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was down 1.3% and its bearish counterpart, FAZ was flat.

Goldman Sachs (GS) was down 0.7% after sources cited by the Wall Street Journal said the lender plans to promote David Solomon and Harvey Schwartz to serve as top lieutenants to CEO Lloyd Blankfein and fill a void left by Gary Cohn who will join the Trump administration. Solomon currently co-heads Goldman's investment-banking division and Schwartz has served as CFO since 2013. Sources added that the New York-based bank is likely to name technology chief R. Martin Chavez as its new CFO, succeeding Harvey Schwartz. The report said an announcement regarding the management reshuffling could be made as soon as Wednesday.


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 inactive. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was flat.

Semiconductor ETFs SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) were flat in pre-market trading .


Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was flat and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 0.5% in pre-market trading.

Aegean Marine Petroleum Network (ANW) was down 11.1% after it priced $150 million of convertible senior notes due 2021 in a private offering to qualified institutional buyers, $50 million more than previously announced. Aegean has granted the initial purchasers of the notes a 30-day option to buy up to an additional $22.5 million of the notes in connection with the offering. The notes will bear interest at a rate of 4.25% per annum, payable semi-annually in arrears on June 15 and Dec. 15 of each year, beginning on June 15. The company seeks to use $40 million of the net proceeds from the sale of the notes to repay a portion of the outstanding short-term indebtedness. The company agreed to buy back at least $40 million of convertible unsecured senior notes due 2018.


Crude was down 1.6% while natural gas futures was down 0.1%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 1.4% and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.2%.

Gold was up 0.4% and SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.3%. Silver was up 0.8% while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.4%.


Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) were inactive.

Consumer Discretionary SPDR (XLY) and retail funds SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were flat.

Walt Disney Company (DIS) was down 0.2% after Bloomberg reported that the company was talking to other large Hollywood studios about jointing the Disney Movies Anywhere service that lets users buy, watch and store online film purchases at a single site, citing unnamed people with knowledge of the plan. The company wants to add content from other studios to boosts the appeal of its service.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2016 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

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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