Pre-open movers

U.S. stock futures traded higher in early pre-market trade. The Chicago Fed National Activity Index for April is schedule for release at 8:30 a.m. ET. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic is set to speak at 12:15 p.m. ET, while Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker will speak at 2:15 p.m. ET. Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkariis set to speak at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 224 points to 24,945.00, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures rose 15.50 points to 2,728.50. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index gained 44.25 points to 6,918.25.

Oil prices traded higher as Brent crude futures rose 0.37 percent to trade at $79.59 per barrel, while US WTI crude futures gained 0.06 percent to trade at $71.53 a barrel. The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week will be released at 1:00 p.m. ET.


A Peek Into Global Markets

European markets were higher today, with the Spanish Ibex Index falling 0.32 percent, STOXX Europe 600 Index declining 0.16 percent and German DAX 30 index dropping 0.04 percent. The UK’s FTSE index was trading lower by 0.13 percent, while French CAC 40 Index rose 0.02 percent.

In Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.40 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.34 percent, China’s Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.24 percent and India’s BSE Sensex slipped 0.86 percent.

Broker Recommendation

Analysts at Stifel Nicolaus downgraded Williams Partners L.P. WPZ from Buy to Hold..

Williams Partners shares fell 0.63 percent to close at $41.23 on Friday.

Breaking news

  • Roper Technologies IncROP announced plans to acquire PowerPlan for $1.1 billion in cash.
  • Fifth Third BancorpFITB agreed to acquire MB Financial Inc MBFI for $54.70 per share in cash and stock.
  • General Electric CompanyGE agreed to merge its transportation unit with Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp WAB.
  • IHS Markit Ltd INFOannounced plans to Ipreo for $1.855 billion.