MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Indications: U.S. stock futures add to rise after jobs report

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By Kate Gibson and Polya Lesova, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) â€" U.S. stock futures extended earlier gains Friday after the March nonfarm-payrolls report exceeded Wall Street’s expectations.

“While the headline data contained in today’s report is unquestionably a positive â€" job growth is indeed picking up as we have been estimating â€" and the drop in the unemployment rate is a welcome surprise, we cannot ignore the weakness in the wage data,” Dan Greenhaus, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak, wrote in an emailed note.

Stock-index futures built on an earlier advance after the government reported that payrolls increased by 216,000 in March, while the unemployment rate fell to a two-year low of 8.8%. Read more about the jobs report.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/21b!f:dj\m11 (DJM11 12,310, -8.00, -0.06%)  gained 69 points to 12,321, and futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index /quotes/comstock/21m!f:sp\m11 (SPM11 1,328, +0.50, +0.04%)  rose 7.9 points to 1,328.9.

Nasdaq 100 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\m11 (NDM11 2,343, +4.00, +0.17%)  climbed 14.25 points to 2,350.5.

Bank of Japan to update tankan

Japan's central bank next week will supplement its tankan survey, taking into account post-quake responses, while the Reserve Bank of Australia will review its policy interest rate. Marketwatch's Phani Kumar in Hong Kong looks at Asia’s week ahead.

Shortly after the U.S. stock market opens, the ISM report on manufacturing for March will be released.

Deal activity heated up after Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!ndaq/quotes/nls/ndaq (NDAQ 28.23, +2.39, +9.25%)   and IntercontinentalExchange Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!ice/quotes/nls/ice (ICE 119.75, -3.79, -3.07%)   said they have made a joint proposal to acquire NYSE Euronext Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!nyx/quotes/nls/nyx (NYX 39.60, +4.43, +12.60%)   for $42.50 a share, or about $11.3 billion.

The proposal represents a 19% premium over the price offered by Deutsche Boerse AG /quotes/comstock/11e!fdb1 (DE:DB1 52.97, -0.78, -1.45%) , according to Nasdaq OMX and IntercontinentalExchange. Read more about the NYSE bid.

On Feb. 15, Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext said they had entered a business-combination agreement after approval from both companies’ boards. At the time, the deal was valued at about $9.5 billion.

In currency markets, the U.S. dollar was slightly higher against its major rivals, gaining against the Japanese currency to 84.18 yen.

The dollar index /quotes/comstock/11j!i:dxy0 (DXY 75.79, -0.04, -0.05%)  rose to 76.381.

Nymex crude oil for May delivery gained 63 cents to $107.35 a barrel in electronic trading on Globex. June gold futures /quotes/comstock/21e!f:gc\m11 (GCM11 1,431, +2.20, +0.15%) slipped $16.40 to $1,422.50 an ounce on Globex.

On the corporate front, shares of Logitech International SA /quotes/comstock/15*!logi/quotes/nls/logi (LOGI 14.71, -3.42, -18.86%)   /quotes/comstock/06p!logn (CH:LOGN 13.95, -2.59, -15.66%)  tumbled in premarket trading. The technology firm late Thursday lowered its full-year forecast for sales and operating profit.

U.S.-listed shares of oil giant BP PLC /quotes/comstock/13*!bp (BP 45.66, +1.52, +3.44%)   /quotes/comstock/23s!a:bp. (UK:BP. 470.00, +16.00, +3.52%)  advanced almost 2% in premarket trade. Analysts at J.P. Morgan Cazenove said BP stands out “as being seriously underpriced” and reiterated an overweight recommendation for the stock.

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

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