Markets

Futures Climb Higher On Bullish Claims, Empire State Data

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Stock futures picked up additional gains before Thursday's cash open in respect of bullish labor market and manufacturing data. Market averages were already cautiously higher when the Empire State manufacturing index lunged to 22.5 in March from 13.1 previously, well above estimates for a gain to 15.0. Also, initial jobless claims fell 4,000 in the week ended March 10, twice the decline analysts expected.

The remaining data was mixed but still indicating solid economic growth with modest price pressures. The Philadelphia Fed business outlook index dropped slightly to 22.3 from 25.8, close to expectations for a decline to 23.0.

Export prices were 0.2% higher in February, less than +0.3% estimates, and import prices were up 0.4%, above the +0.3% estimates.

In corporate news, shares of Dollar General ( DG ) are gaining ground after the retailer reported mixed Q4 results, but issued upbeat FY18 earnings guidance, raised their quarterly dividend and approved a $1 billion stock buyback.

Shares of J.Jill ( JILL ) were crushed in premarket after reporting better-than-expected Q4 results, but warned that Q1 comparable sales and earnings will be down from a year ago. Additionally, CEO Paula Bennett announced her retirement effective April 16.

-Dow Jones Industrial up 0.33%

-S&P 500 futures up 0.17%

-Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.17%

SENTIMENT

Nikkei up 0.12%

Hang Seng up 0.34%

Shanghai Composite up 0.01%

FTSE-100 up 0.07%

DAX-30 up 0.43%

PRE-MARKET SECTOR WATCH

(+) Large cap tech: Higher

(+) Chip stocks: Higher

(-) Software stocks: Lower

(+) Hardware stocks: Higher

(-) Internet stocks: Lower

(+) Oil stocks: Higher

(-) Biotech stocks: Lower

(-) Drug stocks: Lower

(+) Financial stocks: Higher

(+/-) Retail stocks: Flat

(+) Industrial stocks: Higher

(+/-) Airlines: Flat

(+) Autos: Higher

UPSIDE MOVERS:

(+) RUBI (+28.48%) Q4 loss in-line with estimates, revenue beats expectations

(+) PTI (+20.52%) FDA granted orphan drug designation to PTI-428 for the treatment of cystic fibrosis

(+) TPIV (+15.50%) Reported positive test results in ovarian and breast cancer trials

(+) ALXN (+10.65%) Reported positive data in trial of rare blood disorder drug

(+) LITB (+4.00%) Established an experimental crypto-currency mining operation

DOWNSIDE MOVERS:

(-) SLDB (-59.51%) Clinical hold placed on SGT-001, phase ½ clinical trial for Duchenne muscular dystrophy treamtnet

(-) JILL (-28.67%) Reported upbeat Q4 results, but guided Q1 below consensus, CEO to retire

(-) BNFT (-7.26%) Q4 results were in-line to above estimates but Q1 and FY18 guidance disappointed

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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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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