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ETF Preview: ETFs, Futures Firmer as Brexit Polls Lean Toward "Stay"; Weekly Jobless Claims Drop to 8-Week Low

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

SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ): +0.9%

iPath S&P 500 VIX ST Futures ETN ( VXX ): -6%

iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fund ( EEM ): +1.3%

VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short Term ( TVIX ): -11.1%

ProShares Trust Ultra VIX Short Term Futures ETF ( UVXY ): -11.9%

Broad-Market Indicators

Most broad-market exchange-traded funds, including SPY, IWM, IVV and others, inched higher. Actively traded PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) was up 0.9%.

U.S. stock futures were higher ahead of Thursday's open, with investors optimistic that the U.K. will vote to remain in the European Union. The final results of the referendum are expected to be out early Friday.

In economic data news, U.S. weekly jobless claims dropped 18,000 to 259,000 -- beating forecasts that called for claims to fall to 270,000. This was also an 8-week low. Continuing claims also decreased, declining to 2.14 million from an upwardly-revised 2.16 million.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Fed national index for May showed a reading of negative 0.51 after rebounding to 0.05 in April. The March reading was also revised lower to -0.64 from -0.55, while February was raised slightly to -0.16 from -0.20.

Still ahead, the Markit flash manufacturing purchasing managers' index for June will be out at 9:45 am. The May readings for new home sales and leading indicators will be reported at 10 am. Finally, Dallas Federal Reserve President Rob Kaplan will be giving a speech in New York at 1 pm ET.

Power Play: Health Care

Health Care SPDR (XLV) was up 1.1% 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 up 1%.

Cellectar Biosciences (CLRB) was up 11.6% after it reported positive results from a study of CLR 125 to treat breast cancer. The company said that the study demonstrated that a single dose of CLR 125 reduced the volume of human-derived primary triple negative breast cancer xenografts (tumor models) by approximately 60%, compared to a control test. CLR 125 also significantly weakened the progression of micrometastases, and reduced established metastases compared to the control. The findings also showed that within 96 hours of dosing, radioactivity cleared from the subjects' blood and organs and accumulated primarily in the tumor cells where it was retained past 144 hours.

Winners and Losers

Financial

Select Financial Sector SPDRs (XLF) was up 1.3%. Daily Financial Bull 3X shares (FAS) was up 3.2% while its bearish counterpart, FAZ, was down 2.8%.

ADRs of Credit Suisse (CS) were over 4% higher after the Department of Justice said on Wednesday one of the lender's former bankers pleaded guilty in the U.S. on allegations he helped U.S. taxpayers evade their income taxes. In a statement, the DOJ said Michele Bergantino oversaw a portfolio of accounts largely owned by U.S. taxpayers that grew to about $700 million during his time at Credit Suisse, and admitted the tax loss tied to his criminal conduct was over $1.5 million but less than or equal to $3.5 million. Bergantino will face a maximum prison sentence of five years and will also face monetary penalties and restitution. Separately, the Wall Street Journal reported the DOJ is investigating whether the Swiss lender's operations in Israel helped dual Israeli and U.S. citizens conceal their U.S. citizenship to evade American taxes. The new investigation comes about two years after the Swiss bank pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a $2.6 billion settlement in the U.S. for conspiring to help American clients evade taxes, the report added.

Technology

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 .

Amazon.com (AMZN) was up 0.6% after the company was fined $130,000 by the FAA for allegedly mishandling shipments of dangerous chemicals, marking three fines in less than two weeks the agency has penalized the retailer for violating rules related to shipping hazardous materials by air.

Industrial

Industrial funds Vanguard Industrials (VIS), iShares Trust Dow Jones U.S. Industrial Sector Index Fund (IYJ), and Select Sector SPDR-Industrial (XLI) were inactive.

Cleantech Solutions International (CLNT) was up 25.6% after the manufacturer of textile dyeing equipment said that its variable interest entity, Wuxi Huayang Dyeing Machinery Co., has received a purchase order totaling RMB26.6 million ($4 million) for its high temperature air-flow dyeing machines from a textile manufacturer based in Hangzhou, China. The order is for 42 units of dyeing machines with deliveries expected to begin in November.

Energy

Dow Jones U.S. Energy Fund (IYE) was down 0.1% and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was up 1.3% in pre-market trading.

Statoil ASA (STO) was up 4.5% after it said its Q4 dividend would be paid in shares instead of cash, reducing its cash dividend payout by $292 million. The company said nearly 18.3 million new shares would be issued and delivered to shareholders on June 24. Most shareholders who still want their dividend in cash would also be paid at or around June 24, Statoil said.

Commodities

Crude was up 1.6% while natural gas futures were down 0.6%. United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 1.6% and United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was down 0.4%.

Gold was down 0.6% and SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.4%. Silver was down 0.1% while iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was flat.

Consumer

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was down 0.04% while other consumer staples funds iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK) and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (VDC) were inactive.

Consumer Discretionary SPDR (XLY) and retail funds SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), PowerShares Dynamic Retail (PMR) and Market Vectors Retail ETF (RTH) were flat.

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) was down 3.3% after it reported that Q1 net income fell to $122.6 million, or $0.80 per diluted share, for the three months ended May 28, from $158.5 million, or $0.93 per diluted share, for the year-earlier period. Q1 sales were $2.7 billion, flat to the prior year quarter. Analysts were looking for EPS of $0.86 on revenue of $2.78 billion, according to Capital IQ data. Comparable sales decreased 0.5%. Bed Bath & Beyond said it now anticipates its fiscal 2016 EPS to be "comfortably" within the $4.50 to just over $5.00 range, which is within the range previously described in the company's Q4 2016 earnings press release. Analysts were looking for $4.98 in earnings per share.

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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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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