Pre-open movers

U.S. stock futures traded mixed in early pre-market trade. The Challenger job-cut report for February is schedule for release at 7:00 a.m. ET, while data on initial jobless claims for the latest week will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 12 points to 24,783.00, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures rose 4.25 points to 2,727.50. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index rose 28.25 points to 6,952.00.

Oil prices traded lower as Brent crude futures fell 0.44 percent to trade at $64.06 per barrel, while US WTI crude futures declined 0.28 percent to trade at $60.98 a barrel. The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on natural gas stocks in underground storage is schedule for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.

A Peek Into Global Markets

European markets were mostly higher today, with the Spanish Ibex Index rising 0.01 percent, STOXX Europe 600 Index gaining 0.19 percent and German DAX 30 index dropping 0.28 percent. The UK’s FTSE index was trading higher by 0.05 percent, while French CAC 40 Index rose 0.33 percent.

In Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average fell 0.77 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 1.52 percent, China’s Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.58 percent and India’s BSE Sensex climbed 0.96 percent.

Broker Recommendation

Analysts at Compass Point upgraded Safety Insurance Group, Inc. SAFT from Sell to Neutral.

Safety Insurance shares rose 0.68 percent to close at $74.35 on Wednesday.

Breaking news

  • CIGNA CorporationCI announced plans to acquire Express Scripts Holding Company ESRX for $67 billion.
  • Burlington Stores IncBURL reported upbeat earnings for its fourth quarter.
  • Christopher & Banks Corporation CBKreported a narrower-than-expected loss for its fourth quarter.
  • Costco Wholesale CorporationCOST posted downbeat earnings for its second quarter.