MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Friday, April 8, 2011

Indications: U.S. stocks’ rise could be tempered by oil

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By Kate Gibson and Simon Kennedy , MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) â€" U.S. stock futures pointed Friday to an opening bounce-back from the prior day’s losses, yet rising oil prices could curb the gains as crude ran up to levels not seen since September 2008.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/21b!f:dj\m11 (DJM11 12,354, +3.00, +0.02%)  rose 42 points to 12,393, and Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:sp\m11 (SPM11 1,330, +1.20, +0.09%)  climbed 6 points to 1,334.5.

Futures on the Nasdaq 100 /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\m11 (NDM11 2,331, +1.75, +0.08%)  added 8.5 points to 2,337.75.

Asia's week ahead

China's first-quarter GDP and other data will take the spotlight next week in Asia, as well as central-bank meetings in South Korea and Indonesia. MarketWatch's Lisa Twaronite in Tokyo looks at the week ahead.

On Thursday, U.S. markets closed lower after another earthquake shook Japan, less than a month after a devastating earthquake and tsunami claimed thousands of lives. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 12,398, -11.39, -0.09%)  closed down 0.1%.

However, Japanese markets recovered from early losses to close higher, tossing aside any jitters caused by the overnight aftershock and benefiting from some strong retail-sector earnings reports.

The Nikkei Stock Average /quotes/comstock/64e!i:ni225 (JP:NI225 9,768, +177.15, +1.85%)  closed up 1.8% and helped drive gains for European markets. Germany’s DAX 30 index /quotes/comstock/30p!dax (DX:DAX 7,217, +38.24, +0.53%)  rose 0.6% in midday trading.

Commodity prices continued their strong advance. Light crude for May delivery /quotes/comstock/21n!f:cl\k11 (CLK11 111.77, +1.47, +1.33%)  surged $1.05 to $111.35 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after hitting $111.90 a barrel in electronic trading.

Gold for June delivery /quotes/comstock/21e!f:gc\m11 (GCM11 1,473, +13.70, +0.94%)   added $11.50 to $1,470 an ounce. Read more on gains for gold and silver.

“It looks as if we could be back to the days of flagging up a new record high on gold on a daily basis,” said Simon Smith, chief economist at foreign-exchange broker FXPro, in an email.

But if gold is strong, silver is “on fire,” Smith said, noting the metal is up a further 5% so far this month. He added that talks about a U.S. budget deal look to be going down to the wire, with a government shutdown set to begin at midnight if an agreement can’t be reached.

“The prospect of a government shutdown, whilst not necessarily a major dollar-negative factor, has nevertheless highlighted just how much fiscal issues are going to be an ever-more important factor for the U.S. in the coming months and years,” he said.

The dollar was having a mixed session, gaining against the yen but weakening against the euro, which rose 0.8% to $1.4415.

On the economic front, data on wholesale inventories for February will be released after Friday’s opening bell.

Among stocks to watch, shares of online travel-service provider Expedia Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!expe/quotes/nls/expe (EXPE 24.83, +2.43, +10.85%)  jumped 14% in premarket trading after the company said it will split into two by spinning off its TripAdvisor arm.

Hard-disk manufacturer Seagate Technology PLC /quotes/comstock/15*!stx/quotes/nls/stx (STX 16.01, +1.32, +8.99%)  was another advancer, climbing 5.7% before the open after saying late Thursday that it will reinstate dividend payments.

On the downside, shares of oil-exploration group Hercules Offshore Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!hero/quotes/nls/hero (HERO 5.80, -0.58, -9.09%)  dropped 9.7% in premarket trading after the company said it’s being investigated by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission for potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

/quotes/comstock/21b!f:dj\m11 DJ IND AVG JUN1 (DJM11) $ 12,354 Change +3.00 +0.02%Volume 72.00 Real time quotes /quotes/comstock/21m!f:sp\m11 SP500 IDX JUN1 (SPM11) $ 1,330 Change +1.20 +0.09%Volume 2,252 Real time quotes /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\m11 NASD 100 JUN1 (NDM11) $ 2,331 Change +1.75 +0.08%Volume 21.00 Real time quotes /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) 12,398 Change -11.39 -0.09%Volume 45.29m Real time quotes /quotes/comstock/64e!i:ni225 NIKKEI 225 INDEX (NI225) 9,768 Change +177.15 +1.85%Volume 215,006 Real time quotes /quotes/comstock/30p!dax GERMAN SE XETRA DAX INDEX (DAX) 7,217 Change +38.24 +0.53%Volume 117.23m Real time quotes /quotes/comstock/21n!f:cl\k11 LIGHT CRUDE MAY1 (CLK11) $ 111.77 Change +1.47 +1.33%Volume 145,465 Real time quotes /quotes/comstock/21e!f:gc\m11 Gold - 100 Oz (Comex) (GCM11) $ 1,473 Change +13.70 +0.94%Volume 84,224 Real time quotes /quotes/comstock/15*!expe/quotes/nls/expe Expedia Inc (EXPE) $ 24.83 Change +2.43 +10.85%Volume 26.52m Real time quotes /quotes/comstock/15*!stx/quotes/nls/stx Seagate Technology PLC (STX) $ 16.01 Change +1.32 +8.99%Volume 28.42m Real time quotes /quotes/comstock/15*!hero/quotes/nls/hero Hercules Offshore Inc (HERO) $ 5.80 Change -0.58 -9.09%Volume 11.43m Real time quotes

Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York. Simon Kennedy is the City correspondent for MarketWatch in London.

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