ETF Preview: ETFs, Futures Point to Negative Open; Trade War Concerns Mount, China Responds to US Tariffs with Retaliation Measures

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

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

SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financial ( XLF ): +0.1%

VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short Term ETN ( TVIX ): +0.1%

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

ProShares Trust Ultra VIX Short Term Futures ETF ( UVXY ): -0.7%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV were lower. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was down 0.3%.

US stock futures were in negative territory, extending losses from the previous session, after China proposed retaliation measures on US products in reaction to President Donald Trump's executive memorandum imposing tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports.

Atlanta Federal Reserve president Raphael Bostic said he would likely support further hikes over the course of 2018, and cited the potential of inflation running above the US central bank's 2% target. He also said he expects fiscal measures to provide a relatively modest boost to GDP, and described recently announced US tariffs as "pervasive," as they pose a downside risk.

In economic data news, durable-goods orders rose 3.1% in February -- the largest gain since last summer and up from the prior month's decline of 3.7% Forecasts were for an increase of 1.8%.

At 10 am ET, forecasters see new home sales coming in at 620,000 annualized rate in February as compared to January's 593,000.

Power Play: Technology

Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was down 0.1% and other tech funds 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.

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

SMART Global Holdings Inc. (SGH) rose more than 12% after it reported late Thursday fiscal Q2 revenue of $314.0 million, up 83% from $172.0 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts polled by Capital IQ were expecting revenue of $290.06 million. Net income for the quarter ended Feb. 23 was $1.73 per share, compared with $0.35 per share in the year-ago period. Analysts were expecting EPS of $1.33. The company expects fiscal Q3 revenue of $320 million to $340 million, higher than analysts expectation of a mean revenue of $291 million. Net income next quarter is expected to be $1.74 per share to $1.82 per share, higher than analysts estimates of a mean EPS of $1.26.

Winners and Losers


The Select Financial Sector SPDRs ( XLF ) was up 0.1%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 0.1% and its bearish counterpart Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X shares (FAZ) was flat.

GSV Capital (GSVC) fell more than 5% after it said that it has priced $40 million of 4.75% convertible senior notes due 2023. GSV said it has also granted the underwriters of the notes a 30-day option to buy up to an additional $6 million of the notes. The sale of the notes is expected to close on Wednesday. The notes will be convertible into shares of GSV Capital's common stock based on an initial conversion rate of 93.2836 shares per $1,000 principal amount of the notes, which represents an initial conversion price of $10.72 per share. Prior to the close of business on the business day immediately preceding March 28, 2023, the notes will be convertible at any time. The notes will mature on March 28, 2023, unless earlier repurchased or converted in accordance with their terms. Interest on the notes will be payable semi-annually in arrears on March 31 and Sept. 30 of each year, starting on Sept. 30. The notes will be general, unsecured, senior obligations of GSV Capital. GSV Capital said it will use all of the net proceeds from the offering to buy back or pay at maturity a portion of the company's outstanding 5.25% convertible senior notes, which mature on Sept. 15.


Dow Jones US Energy Fund (IYE) was flat and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 0.5%.

Oil major Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.A) confirmed it has sold its 20% stake in the West Qurna 1 oil field in Iraq to Japanese firm Itochu Corp. Shell, via its subsidiary Shell EP Middle East Holdings VP, has sold the entirety of Shell Iraq BV, which holds the interest in the oil field, to Itochu for $406.0 million. Itochu is also to assume debt of USD144.0 million as part of the transaction, Shell said. Reuters in mid-January had reported the Iraqi government had given its blessing to the sale. ADRs rose 0.% in pre-market trade.


Crude was up 0.6%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.9%. Natural gas was down 1% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.8%.

Gold was up 1.5%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 1.5%. Silver was up 1.2%, while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 1.5%.

Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV) and other health care funds Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were quiet. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down 0.1%.

Progenics Pharmaceuticals (PGNX) fell more than 18% after it said late Thursday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will extend its review of the New Drug Application (NDA) for AZEDRA for rare tumors by three months to July 30. The drugmaker said the extension is the result of the submission of additional Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls information by Progenics, which required additional time for FDA review, adding that the standard three-month extension is not related to the efficacy or safety data of AZEDRA, a later-stage drug candidate.


Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was down 0.04% and other funds Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) were flat.

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY)was down 0.2% and retail funds SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were also quiet in pre-market activity.

Destination XL Group (DXLG) reported a fiscal Q4 adjusted loss of $0.05 per share, compared to earnings of $0.03 in the comparable period a year ago. One analyst polled expected a loss of $0.06 per share. For the quarter ended Feb. 3 total revenue of $135.5 million was up from $122.6 million in the comparable period a year ago and exceeded the Street projection of $132.3 million with one analyst polled. Q4 comparable sales were up 4.3%. The company guided full year 2018 revenue in the range of $462 million to $472 million, straddling the Street estimate of $464.8 million. Full year comparable sales are expected to increase approximately 1% to 3%. The company expects a full year adjusted loss between $0.12 per share and $0.22 per share, narrower than the loss of $0.25 per share expected by one analyst polled. The company said it has appointed Jim Davey to the position of chief marketing officer. Davey was most recently vice president of global marketing for footwear and apparel brand Timberland.

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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