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ETF Preview: ETFs Mixed, Stock Futures Higher Following Jobless Claims, Import/Export Prices

Active broad-market exchange-traded funds at the close of Wednesday's regular session:

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.70%

iShares S&P 500 ( IVV ): +0.67%

PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ): +1.06%

iShares Russell 2000 ( IWM ): +0.78%

iShares Russell 1000 Growth ( IWF ): +0.77%

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (EEM): +0.54%

United States Oil Fund (USO): +0.08%

SPDR Gold Shares (GLD): +0.17%

Select Financial Sector SPDRS (XLF): +0.45%

Thursday's Pre-Market Movers

SPY, +0.07%

EWZ, +0.50%

EEM, -0.09%

VXX, -1.20%

QQQ, +0.05%

Broad Market Indicators

Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV, were edging higher in Thursday's pre-market trading . Actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was up 0.1%.

U.S. stock futures were also firmer following mixed jobless claims and import/export prices data. The Labor Department reported that weekly jobless claims rose 21,000 to 311,000, the highest level since June. This, however, is still near pre-recession levels. Meanwhile, the U.S. import-price index slipped by 0.2% in July, led by lower fuel prices. This was the first decline in three months and was narrower than the expected decline of 0.3%. Excluding fuel, import prices were unchanged in July. On the other hand, the U.S. export-price index were unchanged in July.

Power Play: Technology

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 also flat.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) were unchanged after posting losses in the previous session.

Digital Ally (DGLY) was down 8.7% after the developer of advanced video-surveillance products for law enforcement, homeland security and commercial applications late Wednesday reported it swung to an adjusted Q2 loss as revenue fell by nearly a third, hurt by what the company described as a "difficult budgetary environment" for law-enforcement agencies. The company posted a Q2 net loss of $988,089, or $0.43 per share, compared with a year-earlier net loss of $67,151, or $0.03 per share. Adjusted to exclude one-time items, the company posted a loss of $645,494, or $0.28 per share, in the latest quarter, versus a profit of $306,462, or $0.15 per share, in the prior-year period. Skewing the per-share comparison, there was an 11% increase in the number of shares outstanding. Analyst estimates weren't available via Capital IQ. Total revenue declined 32% to $3.4 million. Gross profit margin narrowed to 55.9% of total revenue, compared with 60.1% in Q2 2013.

Winners and Losers

Financial

Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was flat; Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 1.1% and its bearish counterpart, Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X shares (FAZ), was down 0.67%.

Fifth Street Senior Floating Rate (FSFR) was down 7.6% after it said late Wednesday it commenced a public offering of 22.8 million shares of its common stock. FSFR plans to grant the underwriters for the offering an over-allotment option to purchase up to an additional 3.42 million shares of common stock. Separately, it said net investment income in Q2 was $0.28 per share, up a penny sequentially.

Energy

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) were both flat in pre-market trading.

Rice Energy (RICE) was up 0.76% after it late Wednesday priced an upsized underwritten public offering of 11.9 million shares at $27.30 each. The company offered 7.5 million shares of its common stock, and the selling stockholders named in the registration statement are offering 4,438,826 shares. The selling stockholders have granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,790,824 shares for overallotments, if any. The offering is expected to close Aug. 19.

Commodities

Crude was down 0.2%; natural gas was down 2.3%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.1%; United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 0.4%.

Gold was down 0.23%, while silver was flat. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.4% and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.6%.

Consumer

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

Retail ETFs SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR), and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were also unchanged.

Kohl's (KSS) was up 2% after it reported fiscal Q2 earnings that exceeded analysts' expectations while sales slipped to be slightly short of the Street's view. The operator of specialty department stores said earnings in the quarter ended Aug. 2 were $232 million, or $1.13 per diluted share, compared with $231 million, or $1.04 the year earlier. EPS rose more than net income because the number of shares fell to 205 million from 222 million a year ago. Analysts had expected EPS of $1.07. Sales edged down 1.1% to $4.24 billion, below the $4.3 billion consensus estimate.

Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV), iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) and Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) were unchanged. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down 0.1%.

Supernus Pharmaceuticals (SUPN) was up 5.43% after it said the FDA has granted fast-track designation for SPN-810 to treat impulsive aggression in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.This product candidate is expected to enter Phase III testing, with patient dosing commencing during 2015.

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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