Monday, April 4, 2011

US Stock Futures Point To Higher Open, General Electric (NYSE: GE) Eyed

US stock-index futures advanced on Monday as investors continued to be optimistic about the prospects for global growth.  

At 8:22 am ET, the S&P 500 futures rose 3.30 points to 1331. The Dow Jones Industrial average futures advanced 15 points to 12,333 The Nasdaq Composite futures climbed 9.50 points to 2,348.

Shares of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) rose more than 1% after Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Jeffrey Immelt told reporters in Tokyo after meeting with Japanese Trade Minister Banri Kaieda that his company will offer gas turbines to Tepco to ease energy shortages in the Japanese capital and surrounding area.

Vodafone (NYSE: VOD) on Monday agreed to sell its 44 percent stake in France's SFR to Vivendi for 7.95 billion euros ($11.31 billion). 

Meanwhile, crude oil futures gained for a third consecutive day in electronic trading in New York on Monday, climbing to a 30-month peak, as a combination of supply disruptions from the Middle-East and strong US demand kept traders interested in liquid gold. 
Crude oil for May delivery gained as much as 84 cents to US$108.78 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest since Sept. 24, 2008.

No major economic data are scheduled for release on Monday.

European stocks were mixed in afternoon trade. At 13:28 pm London Time, the UK FTSE rose 21.37 points or 0.36% to 6,031.29. The German DAX increased 0.15% while French CAC slipped 0.09%.

Asian stocks finished up. The Nikkei 225 rose 10.50 points or 0.33% to 9,718.89. The Hang Seng index of Hong Kong jumped 348.68 points or 1.46% to 24,150.58.

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