Broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM and IVV were all higher in pre-market activity, recovering from a lower close. Actively-traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.3%.
U.S. stock futures are pointing to a higher open, shrugging off concerns about weakness in China, which once again reported disappointing economic data. The preliminary Caixin/Markit China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to its worst level since March 2009 adding to concern about the health of the world’s second-largest economy. However, later data from Europe was more upbeat leading to gains in bourses there.
The U.S. will release the preliminary September manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) report at 9:45 a.m. ET Wednesday, which is expected to edge up to 53.1 (consensus range: 50.5 to 53.6) from 52.9 in August.
Power Play: Technology
Tech funds were lower, to flat, underperforming the broader market. Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was leaning lower, iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW), iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM), iShares S&P North American Technology-Software Index (IGV) and SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) were all flat after a weaker close.
Semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) were unchanged after closing down.
ADRs of Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) were lower pre-market Wednesday after the company raised its Q3 revenue guidance above consensus forecasts due to a more favorable US dollar exchange rate versus the NT dollar yet issued downside guidance for Q4 as it expects revenues to decrease sequentially.
The Taiwan-based contract chip manufacturer now expects Q3 sales of NT$211 billion ($6.43 billion) to NT$213 billion ($6.49 billion), up from a prior view of NT$207 billion to NT$210 billion, and above the $209.67 billion consensus compiled by Capital IQ.
For Q4, the company expects a sequential decline in revenue to approximately NT$198 billion to NT$204 million, below the $209.53 consensus.
Winners and Losers
Funds in the consumer sector were mostly inactive pre-market. Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) all unchanged after closing in the red.
Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was down 0.2%, SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were flat.
J.C. Penney (JCP) shares are up almost 2% pre-bell after the retailer said John Tighe has been promoted to chief merchant officer effective Oct. 1, replacing Elizabeth Sweney who will serve in an advisory role through the end of the fiscal year, at which time she will retire after 16 years of service.
Tighe will report to CEO Marvin Ellison. Tighe most recently served as senior vice president and senior general merchandise manager for the men’s, children’s, footwear, handbag and intimate apparel divisions.
Funds in the financial sector were mixed, though with a bias to the downside. Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was up 0.3%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was leaning lower; Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X Shares (FAZ) was down 2.5%.
Sun Life Financial (SLF), a financial services company, said late Tuesday that it plans to offer in Canada up to $500 million principal amount of series 2015-1 subordinated unsecured 2.6% fixed/floating debentures due 2025.
The company intends to use the net proceeds for acquisitions and for general corporate purposes.
The offering is expected to close on September 25.
Energy funds were unchanged. Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) both ended in the red.
ADRs of Total SA (TOT) were marginally lower pre-market Wednesday after the French oil major unveiled a new round of cost cuts in an effort to boost profitability, and said it expects production to grow 6-7% through 2017.
Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne said capital expenditures for 2016 will total $20 billion to $21 billion, down from a prior target of $23 billion to $24 billion. Capital expenditures from 2017 onwards are expected at $17 billion to $19 billion, from a peak of $28 billion in 2013.
Crude was up 0.9%; United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 1.8%. Natural gas was up 0.3% and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was up 0.6%. Gold was gained 0.2%, and SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.7%.
Health care funds were mostly higher pre-bell, though lagging the broader market. Health Care SPDR (XLV) was tipping into the green, iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) and Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) were flat. Biotech ETF iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) gained 0.5%.
Mylan (MYL) has countersued Perrigo (PRGO) regarding alleged misstatements that Perrigo made about Mylan’s unsolicited offer for the company, Reuters reported, citing a filing made in a New York federal court.
In the suit, Mylan is seeking an order under which Perrigo must correct misleading statements it has made in an effort to stop Mylan’s acquisition of the company. Previously, Perrigo sued to block the closing of Mylan’s tender offer, unless Mylan corrects what Perrigo calls misleading statements regarding potential synergies.
Active broad-market exchange-traded funds in Tuesday’s regular session:
SPDR S&P 500 (SPY): -1.5%
VIX Short-Term Futures ETN Ipath (VXX): +5.9%
iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund (EEM): -2.1%
Direxion Daily Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares (NUGT): -10.1%
PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 (QQQ): -1.8%
Price: 194.50 Price Change: +0.59 Percent Change: +0.30