08:49 AM EDT, 09/21/2022 (MT Newswires) -- Broad market exchange-traded fund SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) was up 0.5% in premarket activity Wednesday, and the actively traded Invesco QQQ Trust Series (QQQ) was up 0.3%.
US stock futures were also higher, with the S&P 500 up about 0.4% ahead of the start of trading.
Traders await the US Federal Reserve's policy statement at 2 pm ET, followed by Chairman Jerome Powell's 2:30 pm presentation, for clues to future central bank policy.
Meanwhile, traders weighed a 3.8% increase in mortgage applications in the week ended Sept. 16 from a 1.2% decrease in overall activity in the week ended Sept. 9, caused by a large jump in refinancing activity and a small gain in new home applications, according to Mortgage Bankers Association data released Wednesday.
The weekly Energy Information Administration's report on US petroleum inventories posts at 10:30 am.
In premarket action, bitcoin advanced 1.6% and the cryptocurrency fund ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) climbed 1.3%.
Power Play: Health Care
The Health Care SPDR (XLV) gained 0.6%, iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) lost 0.5%, and Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) was down 0.8%. iShares Biotechnology ETF (IBB) was off 1.2%.
Novartis (NVS) shares were sliding almost 0.8% after the company said it is planning to ask the US Supreme Court to uphold the validity of a patent related to the dosing regimen for multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya.
Winners and Losers
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was 0.5% higher, while Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) was up 1.2% and iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) was up 2.1%.
Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was nudging up 0.03%, while the VanEck Retail ETF (RTH) was down 0.1% and SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) was flat.
General Mills (GIS) added about 2.4% after it reported fiscal Q1 adjusted earnings of $1.11 per diluted share, up from $0.99 a year earlier. Net sales for the quarter ended Aug. 28 totaled $4.72 billion, up from $4.54 billion a year earlier. It also raised its fiscal 2023 adjusted EPS and net sales growth forecasts.
Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) was inching forward by 0.5%. iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW) was down 0.2% and iShares S&P North American Technology ETF (IGM) was down nearly 2%.
Among semiconductor ETFs, SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) was unchanged, and the Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) was down 0.2%.
Grab Holdings (GRAB) shares advanced more than 1% after the company said it has promoted Suthen Thomas Paradatheth to chief technology officer, effective on Oct. 1.
Select Financial Sector SPDR (XLF) was up 0.6%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X Shares (FAS) rose 0.8%, while bearish counterpart Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X Shares (FAZ) slipped 1.5%.
JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM) edged higher by 0.4% after the investment bank late Tuesday retained a quarterly dividend of $1 per share, payable Oct. 31 to shareholders of record on Oct. 6.
Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) was ahead by 0.6%, and iShares US Industrials (IYJ) was inactive. Vanguard Industrials Index Fund (VIS) was up 1.4%.
Huntington Ingalls (HII) gained roughly 1% after it said it delivered three REMUS 100s unmanned underwater vehicles to the United Kingdom's Royal Navy.
Front-month US West Texas Intermediate crude oil jumped 1.6% and natural gas was nearly 4% higher. United States Oil Fund (USO) added 1.2%, and the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) rose 3.0%.
Gold was up by 0.8% and silver gained more nearly 3%; SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) crept 0.6% higher and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) surged 2.2%.
Dow Jones US Energy Fund (IYE) was up by about 0.9%, while the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) went up by 1.3%.
Magnolia Oil & Gas (MGY) surged nearly 3% after it said that it has named Christopher Stavros as president and chief executive officer of the company, effective immediately.