Pre-open movers

U.S. stock futures traded higher in early pre-market trade. The Challenger job-cut report for March is schedule for release at 7:30 a.m. ET, while data on initial jobless claims for the latest week will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The international trade report for February is schedule for release at 8:30 a.m. ET. Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic is set to speak in Sarasota, Florida at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 63 points to 24,328.00, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures gained 12.50 points to 2,659.50. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index climbed 55.50 points to 6,638.00.

Oil prices traded lower as Brent crude futures fell 0.15 percent to trade at $67.92 per barrel, while US WTI crude futures fell 0.25 percent to trade at $63.21 a barrel. The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on natural gas stocks in underground storage will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET.


A Peek Into Global Markets

European markets were higher today, with the Spanish Ibex Index rising 1.79 percent, STOXX Europe 600 Index climbing 1.66 percent and German DAX 30 index gaining 1.91 percent. The UK’s FTSE index was trading higher by 1.49 percent, while French CAC 40 Index surged 1.81 percent.

In Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 1.53 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 2.19 percent, China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.18 percent and India’s BSE Sensex rose 1.75 percent.

Broker Recommendation

Analysts at Morgan Stanley upgraded Finisar Corporation FNSR from Equal-Weight to Overweight.

Finisar shares rose 6.05 percent to $15.59 in pre-market trading.

Breaking news

  • RPM International Inc.RPM reported upbeat earnings for its third quarter on Thursday.
  • Conn’s, Inc.CONN reported better-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter, while sales missed estimates.
  • Conatus Pharmaceuticals IncCNAT disclosed that top-line results from Phase 2b POLT-HCV-SVR trial did not meet its primary endpoint.
  • Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Holdings IncOLLI reported stronger-than-expected results for its fourth quarter, but issued weak sales forecast for the full year.