Friday, April 1, 2011

US Stock Futures Advance On Upbeat Jobs Data, Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) Eyed

US stock-index futures climbed on Friday as better-than-expected nonfarm-payrolls data lifted investor sentiment.  

At 8:44 am ET, the S&P 500 futures rose 8.30 points to 1329.30. The Dow Jones Industrial average futures advanced 66 points to 12,318. The Nasdaq Composite futures climbed 15.25 points to 2,351.50.

A release by Department of Labor on Friday showed that U.S. employers added 216,000 net jobs in March. Economists expected non-farm payrolls to rise 192,000 for the month. Unemployment rate dropped to 8.8% in March from 8.9% in the previous month. Economists expected jobless rate to rise to 9%.

Shares of Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) rallied more than 2% after Stifel Nicolaus upgraded its rating on the company to Buy from Hold.

Shares of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. (NYSE: KKD) fell more than 11% in Friday's pre-market trading after the company reported a fiscal fourth-quarter loss of $1.5 million, or 2 cents a share, from a profit of $520,000, or 1 cent a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue increased to $91.6 million from $86.7 million. 

Allied Irish Banks PLC (NYSE: AIB) surged more than 17% after Ireland said it would restructure its banking sector, leaving Allied Irish Banks and Bank of Ireland (NYSE: IRE)   as the country’s two major banks.

On the economic front, ISM Index and construction spending data will be released at 10:00 am ET. March auto and truck sales are due throughout the afternoon.

European stocks advanced in afternoon trade. At 14:02 pm, the UK FTSE rose 68.97 points or 1.17% to 5,977.73. The German DAX and French CAC increased 1.49% and 0.94% respectively.

Asian stocks finished mixed. The Nikkei 225 fell 46.71 points or 0.48% to 9,708.39. The Hang Seng index of Hong Kong jumped 274.38 points or 1.17% to 23,801.90.

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