US Futures Point Higher Ahead of Yellen Testimony While Non-Farm Productivity Slows

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US futures were pointing to a higher open Wednesday in anticipation of Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen's testimony before Congress and as China's e-commerce giant Alibaba filed for what could be an IPO larger than that of Facebook ( FB ).

Yellen has argued that slack remains in the labor market and has pointed to soft wage growth as evidence of that view. She testifies at 10:00 a.m. E.T.

Today, data showed that non-farm business productivity for Q1 fell 1.7% from Q4 compared to the consensus for a 1.2% decline, according to data from Econoday. For Q4, productivity was revised upwards to a 2.3% gain from 1.8%. Unit labor costs rose 4.2% beating the 2.8% consensus. For Q4, unit labor costs were revised to a 0.4% decline from previously a 0.1% decline.

In equities, Alibaba filed for an IPO without specifying the number of shares on offer or the price. The company is expected to raise between $15 billion and $20 billion, potentially exceeding the $16 billion raised by Facebook. Yahoo ( YHOO ), which owns 22.6% of Alibaba, was lower 0.4% in recent pre-market trade. Whole Foods ( WFM ) meanwhile topped the losers before the market open, sheding over 18% after cutting its 2014 sales and profit guidance amid Q2 results that missed expectations.

U.S. PRE-MARKET INDICATORS

-Dow Jones Industrial up 0.28%

-S&P 500 futures up 0.20%

-Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.25%

-Nasdaq-100 Pre-Market Indicator up 0.28%

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Nikkei down 2.93%

Hang Seng down 1.05%

Shanghai Composite down 0.93%

FTSE-100 down 0.13%

DAX-30 up 0.61%

PRE-MARKET SECTOR WATCH

(+/-) Large cap tech: mixed

(+) Chip stocks: unchanged to higher

(+) Software stocks: unchanged to higher

(+/-) Hardware stocks: mixed

(+/-) Internet stocks: mixed

(+/-) Drug stocks: mixed

(+) Financial stocks: higher

(+/-) Retail stocks: mixed

(+) Industrial stocks: higher

(+) Airlines: higher

(+) Autos: higher

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) QTWW (+20.7%) Strikes long-term deal with Ryder System ( R )

(+) GALE (+9.8%) Reports narrower Q1 loss, beats sales estimates

(+) MDLZ (+9.5%) Q1 views; combines coffee unit with DE Masters for $5 billion

(+) CHK (+3.7%) Q1 beats views; ups FY14 production, cash flow guidance

(+) EXEL (+5.2%) Data show high response rate to drug combination

(+) EA (+15.8%) Q4 earnings, sales beat views

(+) JCP (+4.5%) UBS upgrades to neutral vs sell

(+) TRIP (+4.2%) Cantor upgrades to buy vs hold

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) CTSH (-4.5%) FY14 EPS guidance misses views

(-) GRPN (-8.5%) Q2 outlook disappoints; Northland downgrades to market perform

(-) SBRA (-3.2%) Prices 7-million-share-sale at discounted $28.35 each

(-) AEGR (-17.4%) Q1 sales miss views; cuts FY guidance

(-) FEYE (-13.5%) Expects bigger FY loss than street

(-) GNC (-11.7%) Q1, FY14 EPS guidance below street



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: FB , YHOO , WFM , R

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