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ETF Preview: ETFs Inch Higher, Futures Mixed as Street Weighs Possible $2 Trillion Stimulus Package, Trump Impeachment

01/14/2021 | 07:49am
(MT Newswires) -- Broad market exchange-traded funds, such as SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), were modestly higher in Thursday's premarket session. Actively traded Invesco QQQ Trust Series I (QQQ) was down 0.02%.

Stock futures were mixed ahead of the opening bell, with traders mulling reports that the incoming Biden Administration is planning a $2 trillion fiscal stimulus package with large payments to families and state and local governments. Outgoing President Donald Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives Wednesday, for the second time in his administration.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will participate in a streamed discussion at 12:30 pm ET, hosted by Princeton University.

The Trump Administration will not block Americans from investing in the Chinese companies Alibaba (BABA), Tencent, and Baidu (BIDU), according to media reports.

On the economic calendar is the weekly national jobless claims report at 8:30 am ET, and also the import and export price report for December. Import and export prices are both expected to post mild deflation year-over-year earlier. The EIA domestic natural-gas inventories bulletin is released at 10:30 am ET.

Among Federal Reserve officials, Boston President Eric Rosengren will speak at 9 am ET, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic at 11 am ET, and Dallas President Robert Kaplan speaks at 1 pm ET.

Power Play: Technology

Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was up 0.03%; other tech funds iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW) and iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM) were both inactive.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was flat and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was up 0.8%.

Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) reported Q4 earnings of NT$5.51 ($0.20) per share, up from NT$4.47 a year earlier and beating the Capital IQ analyst consensus of NT$5.29. Net sales were NT$361.53 billion ($12.9 billion) for the three months ended Dec. 31, up from NT$317.24 billion in the prior year. Analysts polled by Capital IQ had expected NT$363.45. The chipmaker said it expects Q1 revenue of $12.7 billion and $13 billion. ADRs rose nearly 3%.

Winners and Losers


Select Financial Sector SPDR (XLF) was up 0.7%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X Shares (FAS) was up nearly 2% and its bearish counterpart Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X Shares (FAZ) was inactive.

BlackRock (BLK) reported Q4 adjusted earnings of $10.18 per share, up from $8.34 per share a year earlier and beating the Capital IQ analyst consensus of $9.03. Revenue was $4.48 billion for the quarter ended Dec. 31, up from $3.98 billion in the year-ago quarter and ahead of the Street view of $4.28 billion. Assets under management at the end of Q4 totaled $8.677 trillion. Shares rose more than 2%.


Dow Jones US Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) were both quiet in premarket trading.

Genesis Energy (GEL) said it will pay a quarterly distribution of $0.15 for each common unit, or $0.6 on an annualized basis, for the quarter ended Dec. 31. The dividend amount was unchanged compared with the previous quarter. For preferred units, Genesis will pay a cash distribution of $0.74, or $2.95 on an annualized basis, the company said. These distributions will be paid on Feb. 12 to holders of record as of Jan. 29.


Crude oil was down 0.3% and the United States Oil Fund (USO) was 0.3% lower. Natural gas was up more than 1% and the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was inactive.

Gold was down 0.8% and SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.4%. Silver was down more than 1%, and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.1%.

Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV) was flat, as were other health care funds iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) and Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT). iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was also inactive.

Verona Pharma (VRNA), a UK-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, said that it has completed enrollment in its pilot clinical study of ensifentrine delivered via pressurized metered-dose inhaler in US patients hospitalized with COVID-19. The company said it is on track to report results in Q2. Clinical data for studies of ensifentrine in the treatment of other respiratory diseases have shown that it improved lung function, reduced inflammation in the lungs and reduced symptoms of cough and sputum production, the company said. ADRs were up some 2%.


Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was up 0.2%; Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) were inactive.

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) inched lower and retail funds Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) and SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) were flat.

The Hain Celestial Group (HAIN), a seller of organic and natural products, said late Wednesday it has completed the divestiture of its UK fruit business to private equity firm Elaghmore. The sold assets include the Orchard House Foods Limited business and associated brands. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. HAIN shares down 0.5%.

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