ETF Preview: ETFs, Futures Higher as Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest Level in Seven Weeks

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

SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust ( SPY ): +0.2%

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

Market Vectors Gold Miners ( GDX ): +1.0%

iShares Russell 2000 Index ( IWM ): -0.1%

PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ( QQQ ): +0.1%

Broad-Market Indicators

Most broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, were mixed, and actively traded PowerShares QQQ ( QQQ ) was up 0.1%.

U.S. stock futures were inching higher ahead of Wednesday's open. Trading is expected to remain light, with the session closing early at 1 p.m. ET for the holiday. Gains continued from the previous session, which closed with the Dow Jones Industrial Average reaching a new record high.

In economic data, weekly jobless claims fell 9,000 to 280,000, better than the expected level of 290,000 claims. This was the lowest in the last seven weeks, indicating a slower pace of layoffs. Meanwhile, continuing claims rose by 25,000 to 2.4 million.

Power Play: Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV) was down 0.4% while other health care funds Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT) and iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare (IYH) were flat. Biotechnology fund iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down 0.21%.

BioDelivery Sciences International (BDSI) and Endo International's (ENDP) Endo Pharmaceuticals unit said Tuesday afternoon that they have submitted a new-drug application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Buprenorphine HCl Buccal Film to manage pain. The drug is under development for the management of pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate. BDSI shares were up 5.1% while ENDP shares were inactive pre-market.

Winners and Losers


Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was up 0.1%. Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 0.5% and its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was up 0.1%.

American Realty Capital Properties (ARCP) was down 4.2% after it said it has obtained an additional lender waiver and extension for reporting Q3 2014 and full year 2014 financial statements and has concluded a status evaluation of the properties in ARCP's portfolio. ARCP agreed under the waiver and extension that it will not pay a dividend on its common stock until its financial statements have been delivered. The company plans to review its dividend policy and pay a common stock dividend in line with its industry peers after delivery of the statements.


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 inactive. SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF (IPK) was also unchanged.

Semiconductor ETFs SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD) and Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) were flat in pre-market trading .

Internet services provider j2 Global (JCOM) said it will launch a cash tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Carbonite (CARB), a provider of cloud and hybrid backup and recovery solutions for businesses, for $15.00 per share. The move follows an unsolicited proposal from JCOM to acquire the outstanding shares of CARB earlier in December.


Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was up 0.2% while Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was down 0.8%.

Midstates Petroleum (MPO) named Mark Eck as executive vice president and chief operating officer. MPO, an independent oil driller working fields in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, reported that Eck most recently worked for Samson Resources, as vice president of business development. Eck previously worked at SM Energy and ARCO. Eck has bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla.


Crude was down 2.4%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 1.9%. Natural gas futures was down 1.2%. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 1.0%.

Gold was down 0.1% while silver was up 0.3%. Among rare metal funds, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.3% while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.7%.


Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) were inactive.

Coca-Cola (KO) plans to cut at least 1,000 to 2,000 jobs in the coming weeks, according to a Tuesday report by The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed insiders. It cited one person as saying the cuts could exceed 2,000 jobs. Notices will go out to North American employees Jan. 8 and international employees will be given a timeline for cuts by Jan. 15, the report said. The company is also telling executives to tighten their belts, swapping limousines for taxis, and has dropped a lavish Christmas party for Wall Street analysts. KO shares were up 0.1% pre-market.

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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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities
Referenced Symbols: SPY , EEM , GDX , IWM , QQQ

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