Stock futures were mixed with a defensive bias into Monday's open after a huge decline in China's trade surplus triggered worries over global economic growth. As a result of a 15% drop in exports and -13% in imports, China's trade surplus fell to only CNY 3.08 bln from 60.6 bln in February. In addition, concerns about Q1 earnings are also weighing on U.S. equities with heavy-hitters from the banking sector, as well as Netflix ( NFLX ), General Electric ( GE ) and Intel ( INTC ) all reporting this week.
The otherwise heavy economic calendar this week gets off to a slow start with only the March Treasury budget last this afternoon (expected -$43.4 billion).
In corporate news, Qualcomm ( QCOM ) is trading higher in pre-market action in reaction to a report from the Wall Street Journal that activist investor Jana Partners is urging a breakup of the company.
Simon Property Group ( SPG ) and Sears Holdings (SHLD) have formed a joint venture to unlock additional value for Sears' real estate portfolio with Sears putting in 10 properties to the venture and Simon contributing cash.
-Dow Jones Industrial down 0.18%
-S&P 500 futures down 0.17%
-Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.01%
Nikkei down 0.01%
Hang Seng up 2.37%
Shanghai Composite up 2.16%
FTSE-100 down 0.50%
DAX-30 down 0.19%
PRE-MARKET SECTOR WATCH
(-) Large cap tech: Lower
(-) Chip stocks: Lower
(-) Software stocks: Lower
(+/-) Hardware stocks: Mixed
(-) Internet stocks: Lower
(+/-) Drug stocks: Mixed
(+) Financial stocks: Higher
(+) Retail stocks: Higher
(-) Industrial stocks: Lower
(-) Airlines: Lower
(+/-) Autos: Mixed
(+) BLDR (+55.07%) Agrees to buy ProBuild Holdingsf or $1.63 bln in cash
(+) ABIO (+34.54%) FDA fast-track status for development of Gencaro for atrial fibrillation
(+) ARWR (+15.55%) Received approval from the U.S. FDA to proceed with the phase 2b study of ARC-520 hepatitis B treatment
(+) CLVS (+8.01%) Upgraded to buy at Goldman Sachs
(+) QCOM (+4.86%) Activist investor Jana Partners asked the company to spin off its chip-maker business,
(-) SINA (-3.09%) China internet regulator reportedly threatens shutdown over censorship issues
(-) SYMC (-3.13%) Reportedly considering sale of Veritas unit
(-) SPG (-0.04%) To form join partnership with Sears Holdings (SHLD)
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