U.S. stock futures traded slightly higher in early pre-market trade after the Nasdaq Composite dropped around 175 points in the previous session. Investors are awaiting earnings results from Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. WBA and BlackBerry Limited BB.
The Challenger job-cut report for March is scheduled for release at 7:30 a.m. ET, while data on initial jobless claims, personal income and outlays will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Chicago PMI for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET. Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams is set to speak at 9:00 a.m. ET.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 3 points to 35,120.00 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures rose 5.75 points to 4,601.75. Futures for the Nasdaq index climbed 66.50 points to 15,138.00.
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Oil prices traded lower as Brent crude futures fell 4.6% to trade at $106.27 per barrel, while US WTI crude futures fell 5.5% to trade at $101.90 a barrel. US crude oil inventories dropped by 3.449 million barrels in the week ended March 25th, the Energy Information Administration said Wednesday. The EIA’s weekly report on natural gas stocks in underground storage will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET.
The U.S. has the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the world, with total infections in the country exceeding 81,740,720 with around 1,006,440 deaths. India reported a total of at least 43,024,300 confirmed cases, while Brazil confirmed over 29,916,330 cases.
A Peek Into Global Markets
European markets were lower today. The STOXX Europe 600 Index fell 0.2%, while Spain’s IBEX 35 Index fell 0.3% and London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.1%. The French CAC 40 Index fell 0.3%, while German DAX dropped 0.1%.
Asian markets traded lower today. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.73%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1.06% and China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.44%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.2%, while India’s BSE SENSEX fell 0.2%. The official NBS Non-Manufacturing PMI for China fell to 48.4 in March from January's level of 51.6, while Manufacturing PMI declined to 49.5 in March from 50.2 a month ago. Private house approvals in Australia rose by 16.5% from a month ago to 7,183 units in February, while building permits increased 43.5% to 18,675 units.
Barclays upgraded Vector Group Ltd. VGR from Equal-Weight to Overweight and raises the price target from $12 to $16.
Vector Group shares rose 2.9% to $10.91 in pre-market trading.
- UiPath Inc PATH reported upbeat results for its fourth quarter on Wednesday, but issued weak sales guidance.
- ModivCare Inc MODV filed for a mixed-securities shelf offering of up to $200 million.
- U.S. Well Services, Inc. USWS posted a loss for its fourth quarter, while sales missed estimates.
- Acutus Medical AFIB reported a wider-than-expected loss for its fourth quarter and issued weak Q1 sales guidance.
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