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A Peek Into The Markets: US Stock Futures Gain; Jobless Claims Data In Focus

A Peek Into The Markets: US Stock Futures Gain; Jobless Claims Data In Focus

Pre-open movers

U.S. stock futures traded higher in early pre-market trade after the House passed the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 rescue bill. President Biden is likely to sign it into law by Friday. Investors are awaiting earnings reports from Ulta Beauty Inc (NASDAQ: ULTA), JD.Com Inc (NASDAQ: JD) and Genesco Inc. (NYSE: GCO).

Data on initial jobless claims for the latest week will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Jobless claims are expected to decline to 725,000 for the March 6 week from 745,000 in the prior week. The Labor Department's JOLTS report for January is scheduled for release at 10:00 a.m. ET.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 100 points to 32,379.00 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures rose 27.75 points at 3,924.25. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index rose 221.25 points to 12,970.50.

The U.S. has the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the world, with total infections in the country exceeding 29,152,710 with around 529,200 deaths. India reported a total of at least 11,262,700 confirmed cases, while Brazil confirmed over 11,202,300 cases.

Oil prices traded higher as Brent crude futures rose 1.2% to trade at $68.74 per barrel, while US WTI crude futures rose 1.4% to trade at $65.34 a barrel. US crude inventories rose 13.798 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday. The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on natural gas stocks in underground storage will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET.

A Peek Into Global Markets

European markets were mostly higher today. The Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.4% and STOXX Europe 600 Index rose 0.2%. The French CAC 40 Index rose 0.2%, German DAX 30 slipped 0.1% while London's FTSE 100 rose 0.1%.

Asian markets traded mostly higher today. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.6%, China’s Shanghai Composite rose 2.36% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 1.65%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.1%, while India’s BSE Sensex rose 0.5%. Car sales in China surged 365% year-over-year to 1.455 million in February. Japan producer prices fell 0.7% year-over-year in February 2021 versus a 1.6% decline in the previous month.


Broker Recommendation

Cowen & Co. downgraded Restaurant Brands International Inc. (NYSE: QSR) from Outperform to Market Perform and raised the price target from $63 to $65..

Restaurant Brands shares rose 0.1% to close at $64.12 on Wednesday.

Check out other major ratings here


Breaking News

  • Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL) reported better-than-expected earnings for its third quarter and raised its quarterly dividend from $0.24 to $0.32 per share. The company also added $20 billion to its buyback program.
  • Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has cut its planned production of the iPhone 12 mini for the first half of 2021 by more than 70% due to lower than expected demand, Nikkei Asia reported Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the matter.
  • Asana Inc (NYSE: ASAN) reported upbeat results for its fourth quarter and issued strong sales guidance for the current quarter.
  • AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AMC) expects the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. and the blockbuster movie titles scheduled to be released in the coming months to boost sales this year, according to a report by Reuters.

Check out other breaking news here


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