ETF Preview: ETFs, Futures Point Higher as New Round of US-China Trade Talks Commence

Active broad-market exchange-traded funds ahead of Monday's regular session:

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

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

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

VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF ( GDX ): -0.9%

ProShares UltraPro Short QQQ ( SQQQ ): -1.1%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including IWM and IVV were higher. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.4%.

US stocks were pointing to a higher open as another round of trade negotiations between the US and China started, even as Wall Street remained cautious ahead of a possible partial government shutdown.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and trade representative Robert Lighthizer will arrive in Beijing for the trade talks on Thursday and Friday, but lower level discussions will be commencing earlier in the week.

Another possible government shutdown is looming, as talks in Congress broke down again, with the two parties failing to arrive at an agreement on whether to limit the number of migrants authorities can detain. The deadline for an agreement to be reached is Friday.

Power Play: Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV) and other health care funds including Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare (IYH) were flat in pre-market trade. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was up 0.5%.

CTI BioPharma (CTIC) climbed by 17% after it said it had received a $10 million payment from Teva Pharmaceutical related for the achievement of sales milestones for Trisenox (arsenic trioxide). Trisenox was acquired from CTI BioPharma by Cephalon, Inc, which was subsequently acquired by Teva. The milestone was paid because of an acquisition agreement for Trisenox entered into by Cephalon under which CTI is eligible to receive up to an additional $40 million upon achievement by Teva of specified sales and development milestones.

Winners and Losers


The Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 0.4% in the pre-market session. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 0.2% while its bearish counterpart Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X Shares (FAZ) was down 0.6%.

Morgan Stanley (MS) rose marginally after it said it agreed to acquire Solium Capital, a provider of software-as-a-service for equity administration, financial reporting and compliance. The deal brings together a major stock plan administration platform with a leading Wealth Management business. Morgan Stanley will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Solium for CAD19.15 per share in cash, representing a total equity value of about CAD1.1 billion or $900 million. The transaction is expected to have a minimal impact on the firm's earnings and capital ratios. Morgan Stanley entered into a partnership with Solium in 2016 to administer equity compensation plans for Morgan Stanley's corporate clients and their employee.


Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was up 0.01% and other tech funds iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW) and iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM) were inactive.

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

Activision Blizzard (ATVI) rose some 1% following a Bloomberg News report that said the video game publisher is planning to lay off hundreds of workers as the game developer attempts to restructure amid a sales glut affecting the entire video gaming industry. The report cited unnamed sources. The announcement could come as early as Tuesday, sources said. The move comes after the publisher decided to split from gaming studio Bungie, the developer of the "Destiny" game franchise, according to the report.


Dow Jones US Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) were both inactive in pre-market trade.

NGL Energy Partners LP (NGL) rose nearly 7% after i t report ed fiscal Q3 earnings from continuing operations of $0.64 per share, compared with the prior-year period's $0.32 per share. Analysts polled by Capital IQ were expecting EPS of $0.11, if comparable. Revenue was $6.4 million, up from $4.4 million in the same quarter last year. The Street view was for revenue of $5.7 million.


Crude was down 0.8%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.6%. Natural gas was up 6% while the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 2.8%.

Gold was down 0.6%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.6%. Silver was down 0.7%, while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.7%.


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

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) and retail funds SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were quiet in pre-market trade.

Restaurant Brands International (QSR, QSP.TO) rose more than 2% after it reported Q4 adjusted earnings of $0.68 per share, up from $0.66 in the same period a year ago and topping the estimate of $0.67 from analysts polled by Capital IQ. Total revenue of $1.39 billion was up from $1.23 billion in the same period a year ago and in line with the Street projection of $1.39 billion.

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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