MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Monday, April 4, 2011

Indications: U.S. futures edge up as oil prices top $108

Stock Assault 2.0 - Artificial Intelligence Stock Market Software

By Polya Lesova and Kate Gibson, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) â€" U.S. stock futures gained Monday, with Wall Street poised to extend two weeks of gains, as investors monitored oil prices that surpassed $108 a barrel.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/21b!f:dj\m11 (DJM11 12,319, +1.00, +0.0081%)  gained 14 points to 12,332, with shares of component Pfizer Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!pfe/quotes/nls/pfe (PFE 20.47, +0.09, +0.44%)   rising 1.1% after the pharmaceutical giant said it would sell its Capsugel capsule-making unit to private-equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!kkr/quotes/nls/kkr (KKR 17.17, +0.26, +1.54%)  for $2.38 billion. Read more about Pfizer-KKR deal.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index /quotes/comstock/21m!f:sp\m11 (SPM11 1,327, -0.70, -0.05%)  added 3 points to 1,330.7.

Nasdaq 100 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\m11 (NDM11 2,327, -12.00, -0.51%)  rose 9.25 points to 2,347.75.

Hong Kong lures Japan’s workers

As some expats in Japan prepare to leave, Hong Kong is speeding up measures to approve visas to attract top professionals.

On Friday, the blue-chip Dow index /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 12,387, +10.22, +0.08%)  rose 0.5% after data showed strong growth in the U.S. labor market in March. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 216,000 in March, while the unemployment rate fell to 8.8%, a two-year low. Read more about recent job report.

In the commodity markets, oil prices extended recent gains. Nymex crude oil for May delivery /quotes/comstock/21n!f:cl\k11 (CLK11 108.51, +0.57, +0.53%)   rose 6 cents to $108 a barrel in electronic trading on Globex. Read more about oil prices.

“Besides the ongoing fighting in Libya and protests in the Middle East, U.S. labor-market data are also lending support,” Commerzbank said in a note to clients.

Gold futures /quotes/comstock/21e!f:gc\m11 (GCM11 1,434, +4.90, +0.34%)   also climbed, with the June contract rising $10 to $1,438.9 an ounce on Globex.

The dollar index /quotes/comstock/11j!i:dxy0 (DXY 75.92, +0.08, +0.11%) , which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of other major currencies, traded up 0.1% to 75.897.

In premarket trade, shares of Southwest Airlines Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!luv/quotes/nls/luv (LUV 12.36, -0.31, -2.45%)  fell almost 5%. The carrier canceled more than 50 flights Monday as safety personnel continued inspections for fuselage cracks in its fleet of Boeing Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!ba/quotes/nls/ba (BA 73.72, -0.29, -0.39%)   737-300 jetliners, days after one of its planes sustained a ruptured hull while in flight.

Shares of Ambassadors International Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!amie/quotes/nls/amie (AMIE 0.70, -2.10, -75.00%)  plunged in preopen trading. After Friday’s close, the cruise company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

Equity markets in Europe were slightly higher in volatile trade, as traders digested deal news. The Stoxx Europe 600 index /quotes/comstock/22c!sxxp (ST:STOXX600 280.26, +0.24, +0.09%)  gained 0.2% in intraday trading.

U.S.-listed shares of Vodafone Group PLC /quotes/comstock/15*!vod/quotes/nls/vod (VOD 28.96, -0.12, -0.41%)   /quotes/comstock/23s!a:vod (UK:VOD 178.85, -0.25, -0.14%)  rose in premarket trade after the U.K. mobile giant announced it will sell its 44% stake in SFR to France’s Vivendi /quotes/comstock/24s!e:viv (FR:VIV 20.64, +0.12, +0.58%)  for about $11.3 billion. Read more about Vodafone deal.

Polya Lesova is chief of MarketWatch’s London bureau. Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.

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