U.S. stock futures traded higher in early pre-market trade ahead of the much-awaited jobs report for March. Investors are awaiting earnings results from Yatra Online, Inc. YTRA and Milestone Scientific Inc. MLSS.
U.S. jobs report for March is scheduled for release at 8:30 a.m. ET. Analysts expect a 490,000 rise for nonfarm payrolls in March following a 678,000 gain in the previous month. The unemployment rate is expected to decline to 3.7% from 3.8%. The final manufacturing PMI for March will be released at 9:45 a.m. ET, while the ISM manufacturing index for March and data on construction spending for February will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans is set to speak at 9:05 a.m. ET.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 140 points to 34,758.00 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures rose 18.50 points to 4,549.25. Futures for the Nasdaq index climbed 66.25 points to 14,935.00.
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Oil prices traded lower as Brent crude futures fell 0.4% to trade at $104.27 per barrel, while US WTI crude futures fell 0.7% to trade at $99.58 a barrel. The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.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 81,780,500 with around 1,007,320 deaths. India reported a total of at least 43,025,770 confirmed cases, while Brazil confirmed over 29,947,890 cases.
A Peek Into Global Markets
European markets were higher today. The STOXX Europe 600 Index gained 0.3%, while Spain’s IBEX 35 Index rose 0.6% and London’s FTSE 100 gained 0.3%. The French CAC 40 Index rose 0.1%, while German DAX gained 0.1%. The S&P Global Eurozone manufacturing PMI fell to 56.5 in March versus an initial estimate of 57. German manufacturing PMI was revised lower to 56.9 in March versus a preliminary of 57.6, while Italy’s manufacturing PMI slipped to 55.8 in March from 58.3 in the prior month. The S&P Global French manufacturing PMI declined to 54.7 in March from 57.2 in February, while the country’s government budget deficit narrowed to EUR 37.6 billion in February from EUR 47.5 billion in the year-ago month. Spanish manufacturing PMI declined to 54.2 in March from 56.9 in the previous month.
Asian markets traded mixed today. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.56%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.19% and China’s Shanghai Composite Index climbed 0.94%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.1%, while India’s BSE SENSEX gained 0.7%. The Caixin China’s General Manufacturing PMI declined to 48.1 in March from 50.4 a month ago, while Japan’s Manufacturing PMI rose to 54.1 in March versus the preliminary level of 53.2. Manufacturing PMI in Australia rose to 55.70 points in March from a reading of 53.20 in February.
Piper Sandler downgraded Blend Labs, Inc. BLND from Overweight to Neutral and lowered the price target from $10 to $5.5.
Blend Labs shares dropped 24.4% to $4.31 in pre-market trading.
- Aehr Test Systems AEHR reported in-line earnings for its third quarter, while sales exceeded estimates. The company also reiterated its FY22 sales guidance.
- ALLETE, Inc. ALE priced an underwritten public offering of 3,200,000 shares at $63.00 per share.
- Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN India could potentially be exploring a virtual launch in the metaverse.
- A shadow of fear and uncertainty over India’s cryptocurrency ecosystem is expected to end only after a global consensus emerges on regulating such assets, a Bloomberg report on Friday (New Delhi time) indicated.