ETF Preview: ETFs, Futures Slip Lower as Concerns Over Omicron Variant of COVID-19 Persist

Broad market exchange-traded funds, such as SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) were lower in Tuesday's premarket trade. Actively traded Invesco QQQ Trust Series I (QQQ) was down 0.5%.

US stock futures were in the red ahead of the opening bell after Modern's (MRNA) CEO told the Financial Times that the omicron variant of COVID-19 virus may be resilient against vaccines.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will appear at 10 am ET before the Senate Banking Committee, although the text of his presentation was released on Monday, and indicated a concern about the omicron variant. Yields on 10-year US Treasuries were slipping.

On the economic calendar at 9 am ET are the S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller home price index, and also the FHFA's house price index, both for September.

The Chicago PMI for November will be released at 9:45 am ET, while the Conference Board's consumer confidence index for November is slated for a 10 am ET posting. Farm prices will be posted at 3 pm ET.

New York Federal Reserve President John Williams will speak at 10:30 pm ET, and Vice Chair Richard Clarida at 1 pm ET.

In pre-market action, bitcoin traded 0.3% lower, while cryptocurrency fund ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) fell 0.2%

Power Play: Consumer

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was down 0.5% and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) was down 0.2% and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) was inactive.

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was down 0.8%; among retail funds, Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) was flat while SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) was down 1%.

Dollar Tree (DLTR) on Monday priced a public offering of $1.2 billion senior notes, consisting of $800 million of its 2.650% senior notes due 2031 and $400 million of its 3.375% senior notes due 2051. Net proceeds from the offering will be used to redeem the company's outstanding 3.700% senior notes due 2023. Any remaining proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, including repurchases of common stock. DLTR shares were down 3%.

Winners and Losers


Select Financial Sector SPDR (XLF) was down some 2%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X Shares (FAS) was down 4.5% and its bearish counterpart Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X Shares (FAZ) was up nearly 4%.

Northern Trust (NTRS), a provider of wealth and asset management services, said Tuesday it has been selected to provide global custody and depositary services for Omba Investments Irish Collective Asset-management Vehicle's planned $100 million umbrella fund. The umbrella fund will launch with two new Ireland-domiciled funds, the Omba Global Thematic Fund and Omba Global Equity Fund. NTRS shares fell nearly 2%.


Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was down 0.6%; among other tech funds, iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW) was down 0.1% while iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM) was flat.

Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was flat while Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down 0.5%.

Accenture (ACN) said Monday it has renewed its joint venture Amazon's (AMZN) Web Services subsidiary for another five years. The companies will make an additional joint investment and delivery services through the Accenture AWS Business Group. Accenture will also develop new accelerators using Cloud Continuum to increase the adoption of AWS technologies by up to 50% faster, according to a statement. ACN shares slipped marginally lower while AMZN shares inched up 0.2%.


Dow Jones US Energy Fund (IYE) was flat and Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) fell some 2%.

TotalEnergies (TTE) said that the company and its US partner Clean Energy Fuels have begun the construction of their first biomethane production unit in Friona, Texas. The facility, which will be fueled by the onsite supply of livestock manure, is expected to produce more than 40 GWh of biomethane per year. The alternative fuel will be distributed by Clean Energy through its network of fueling stations in the US, according to a statement. TTE ADRs were down more than 1%.


Crude oil was down 3%; United States Oil Fund (USO) fell nearly 2%. Natural gas was fell 5% and the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) fell 5%.

Gold was up 0.5% and SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.6%. Silver was up 0.2%, while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 0.1%.

Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV) slipped 0.6%; iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) was flat and Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) was down 0.3% while iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down 0.8%.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) and Confo Therapeutics entered a collaborative deal to discover novel antibody drugs. Under the deal, the companies will work together to apply Confo's drug discovery platform to enable functional antibody discovery. Confo Therapeutics will be entitled to an upfront payment, research funding and potential clinical, regulatory and commercial payments. Other details of the agreement were not disclosed, according to a statement. REGN shares fell nearly 3%.