US Stock Futures Edge Higher Ahead Of Jobless Claims, Factory Orders Data
US stock futures gained in early pre-market trading, ahead of economic data. The Challenger job-cut report for February will be released at 7:30 a.m. ET. Data on weekly jobless claims and nonfarm business productivity for the fourth quarter will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Data on factory orders for January will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 21 points to 16,376.00, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index futures rose 2.10 points to 1,874.50. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index surged 2.50 points to 3,730.75.
A Peek Into Global Markets
European markets were higher today, with the Spanish Ibex Index rising 1.12%, London's FTSE 100 index gaining 0.15% and STOXX Europe 600 Index climbing 0.36%. German DAX 30 index rose 0.23% and French CAC 40 Index surged 0.58%. French unemployment rate declined to 10.2% in the final quarter, versus 10.3% in the earlier quarter.
Asian markets ended higher today. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average gained 1.59%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.55%, China's Shanghai Composite Index climbed 0.32% and India's BSE Index jumped 1.11%. Australia's trade surplus widened to A$1.43 billion in January, versus revised surplus of A$591 million in December.
Analysts at Morgan Stanley downgraded Auxilium Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AUXL) from “equal-weight” to “underweight.” The price target for Auxilium Pharmaceuticals is set to $15.
Auxilium's shares closed at $31.93 yesterday.
- Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ: COST) reported a 15% drop in its fiscal second-quarter profit. Costco's quarterly profit fell to $463 million, or $1.05 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $547 million, or $1.24 per share. To read the full news, click here.
- Logitech International (NASDAQ: LOGI) today announced that its board of directors has approved a new share buyback program, which authorizes the Company to invest up to $250 million to purchase its own shares, subject to the approval of the Swiss Takeover Board. To read the full news, click here.
- Russian company Vimpelcom (NASDAQ: VIP) reported a net loss in the fourth quarter. Vimpelcom posted a quarterly net loss of $2.7 billion, versus a year-ago profit of $195 million. To read the full news, click here.
- Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS) reported weaker-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and announced its plans to close 225 stores by 2015. To read the full news, click here.
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