Stock Futures Buoyed by Chicago Manufacturing, Hopes For Chinese Stimulus

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Stock futures were holding onto conservative gains, buoyed by a better than expected Chicago Fed index on national economic activity and anticipation that continued weakness in Chinese manufacturing will force the government to introduce more aggressive stimulus measures. Last night, global PMIs from China to Germany exposed a global economy that is still floundering, leaving European equities defensive.

But while early action is positive, Wall Street remains cautious ahead of today's Markit PMI for March and lingering tensions in Eastern Europe as Russia proceeds with plans to annex Crimea despite international protest. Analysts are expecting the March PMI to decline from 57.1 to 56.5 as weather conditions continue to dampen manufacturing activity.

In corporate news, shares of Apple ( AAPL ) and Comcast ( CMCSA ) are both higher after the two are rumored to be in discussions for a content distribution partnership. Shares of NuSkin ( NUS ) received a $540,000 fine from Chinese regulators as a result of selling practices and misleading marketing of its products, well below what investors expected.

Before the open, the Chicago Fed said that a rebound in manufacturing pushed the national activity index to +0.14, much better than the consensus of +0.10, and a significant rebound a January decline.

-Dow Jones Industrial up 0.20%

-S&P 500 futures up 0.26%

-Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.31%

SENTIMENT

Nikkei up 1.77%

Hang Seng up 1.91%

Shanghai Composite up 0.91%

FTSE-100 down 0.17%

DAX-30 down 0.27%

PRE-MARKET SECTOR WATCH

(+) Large cap tech: higher

(+) Chip stocks: higher

(+) Software stocks: higher

(+) Hardware stocks: higher

(+) Internet stocks: higher

(+/-) Drug stocks: mixed

(+) Financial stocks: higher

(+) Retail stocks: higher

(+) Industrial stocks: higher

(+) Airlines: higher

(+/-) Autos mixed

UPSIDE MOVERS:

(+) ACHN (+7.69%) Upgraded by Maxim Group to a Buy rating from a Hold.

(+) NUS (+25.79%) Received a minimal $540,000 fine from Chinese regulators

(+) MNGA (+8.33%) Plans to unveil a mobile liquid biomass solution this week at the 7th Annual International Biomass Conference & Expo.

(+) SOL (+9.82%) Reported Q4 revenue of $438.8 million, up 43% from Q4 last year and well ahead of the analyst consensus

DOWNSIDE MOVERS:

(-) OIIM Cut its Q1 revenue guidance amid weak sales in the TV and notebook markets

(-) NTAP (-2.99%) Downgraded by Morgan Stanley to Underweight from Equalweight



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

Copyright (C) 2014 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.


This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: AAPL , CMCSA , NUS

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