Futures Higher As Ukraine Tensions Calm, European Central Banks Leave Rates Unchanged


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Stock futures were modestly higher this morning on continued calm in Ukraine as traders dismissed weaker than expected fourth-quarter productivity and labor costs given the lingering impact of the cold weather on the U.S. economy. Early gains in the U.S. market were assisted by strength overseas following upbeat EU-zone economic data and decision by both the European Central Bank and Bank of England to leave their key lending rates unchanged.

The Labor Department reported that 26,000 fewer new jobless claims were filed for the week ended March 1, much greater than the 10,000 reduction that was expected. The 4-week moving average fell slightly to 336,500 new claims, a difference of -1,750 from the week prior.

Non-farm productivity for the fourth-quarter was revised lower to +1.8% from +3.2%, a much steeper revision than the +2.5% the street was expecting. Unit labor costs were revised to -0.1% from -1.6%, but not as much as the consensus for a revision to -0.8%.

Later this morning, the Commerce Department will release January factory orders, expected to decline 0.5% from -1.5% in December.

-Dow Jones Industrial up 0.15%

-S&P 500 futures up 0.13%

-Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.07%


Nikkei up 1.59%

Hang Seng up 0.55%

Shanghai Composite up 0.32%

FTSE-100 up 0.33%

DAX-30 up 0.27%


(+) Large cap tech: higher

(+) Chip stocks: higher

(+) Software stocks: higher

(+) Hardware stocks: higher

(+) Internet stocks: higher

(+/-) Drug stocks: flat

(+) Financial stocks: higher

(+/-) Retail stocks: mixed

(+/-) Industrial stocks: mixed

(+) Airlines: mixed

(+) Autos higher


PXLW (+40.00%) 10-K filing revealed that Apple ( AAPL ) and NEC each represented more than 10% of its revenue in 2013.

AXLL (+5.26%) Upgraded by Goldman Sachs to Buy from Neutral

SGMO (+18.51%) Positive results from its HIV treatment study


SPLS (-11.94%) Announced disappointing earnings and plans to close as many as 225 stores

COST (-3.11%) Missed both earnings and revenue estimate for Q4

DANG (-5.60%) CFO resigning

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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