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ETF Preview: ETFs, Stocks Point Higher as Investors Digest Earnings Reports, Economic Data

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

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

VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF ( GDX ): -2.4%

Direxion Daily Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares ( NUGT ): -7.2%

Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares ( JNUG ): -7.6%

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

Broad Market Indicators

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

U.S. stock futures were looking to open the regular session higher, and are set to extend gains which saw the ow Jones Industrial Average push past 20,000 and other indexes to reach record highs.

In economic data news, initial weekly jobless claims rose 22,000 to 259,000, higher than the 244,000 expected. The prior week was revised to 237,000 from 234,000 for a 12,000 drop from 249,000.

Chicago Fed's National Activity index bounced to 0.14 in December, the first positive reading since July.

The December advance trade report posted a $65.0 billion deficit versus -$65.3 billion in November and an expected -$65.5 billion. Exports rebounded 3.0% to $125,524 billion while imports climbed 1.8% to $190,524 billion.

Looking ahead, the January reading for the Markit services flash PMI will be released at 9:45 am ET; new home sales and leading economic indicators for December will both be reported at 10 am ET.

Corporate earnings releases will also continue to be in focus.

Power Play: 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.

Mattel (MAT) was down 13.7% after the toymaker reported late Wednesday Q4 adjusted earnings per share of $0.52, missing the average of estimates on Capital IQ for $0.71 and below the year ago $0.65 a share. Net sales were down 8% to $1.83 billion, also missing the Street's view for $1.97 billion.

Winners and Losers

Financial

Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was flat. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 3.5% and its bearish counterpart, FAZ was down 0.1%.

The Blackstone Group (BX) was up 1.7% and on track for a new 13-month high after the company reported significantly improved Q4 results from a year earlier that beat views compiled by Capital IQ. The investment firm said Q4 economic net income was $0.68 per share, up from $0.37 per share a year earlier and two cents above the consensus. Revenues soared 75% year-over-year to $1.57 billion and were above expectations for $1.51 billion.

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.

Alliance Data Systems (ADS) was down 5.4% after it reported Q4 revenue of $1.83 billion, versus $1.75 billion last year and missing the $1.93 billion Capital IQ consensus. EPS were $4.67, versus $4.13 last year. This beat the $4.64 Capital IQ estimate. For 2017, the company is guiding for revenue of $7.7 billion and core EPS of $18.50. The Street is at revenue of $7.94 billion and EPS of $18.68.

Industrial

Industrial funds iShares Trust Dow Jones U.S. Industrial Sector Index Fund (IYJ), Vanguard Industrials (VIS) and Select Sector SPDR-Industrial (XLI) were flat.

Caterpillar (CAT) was down 1% after it reported Q4 adjusted EPS of $0.83 per share, unchanged from the same quarter last year, but well above the consensus estimate from Capital IQ of $0.67 per share. Total revenue of $9.57 billion fell from $11.03 billion last year and missed the estimated $9.74 billion. According to the company, Q4 results reflected three large non-cash charges and higher than expected restructuring costs. For 2017, Caterpillar lowered its revenue guidance due to the strengthening dollar to a range of $36 billion to $39 billion with a midpoint of $37.5 billion, down slightly from previous guidance of $38 billion. This compares to Wall Street estimates of $38.88 billion. Earnings are forecasted to be $2.30 per share and $2.90 per share on an adjusted basis. This is below Wall Street estimates of $2.48 GAAP earnings and $3.07 adjusted earnings.

Energy

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was flat while Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 0.3% in pre-market trade.

Baker Hughes (BHI) was up 0.6% after the oilfield services company reported a Q4 adjusted net loss of $0.30 per share, wider than the loss of $0.21 per share loss in the same period a year ago. Analysts polled by CapIQ expected a loss of $0.13 per share. Total revenues of $2.41 billion were down from $3.39 billion in the same period a year ago and topped the Street projection of $2.38 billion.

Commodities

Crude was up 0.6%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.6%. Natural gas was up 3.4% while United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 3.3%.

Gold was down 0.7%. SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.9%. Silver was down 1% while iShares Silver Trust SLV) was down 1%.

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.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) was down 2.9% after the drugmaker reported Q4 adjusted EPS was $0.63 per share, up from $0.38 per share a year earlier but shy of the $0.66 per share consensus of analysts polled by Capital IQ. Revenues surged 22% year-over-year to $5.24 billion and beat the $5.13 billion average estimate. For FY17, the company expects adjusted EPS of $2.70 to $2.90 per share, narrowed from a prior view for $2.85 to $3.05 per share, and below the $2.96 per share consensus. The company expects FY17 worlwide revenues to increase in the low-single digits.

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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