US stock futures traded mostly flat in early pre-market trade, after upbeat Chinese data. The U.S. Treasury monthly budget report for January will be released at 2:00 p.m. ET. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 6 points to 15,935.00, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index futures rose 1 point to 1,814.60. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index gained 4 points to 3,616.75.
A Peek Into Global Markets
European markets were higher today, with the Spanish Ibex Index rising 0.10%, London's FTSE 100 index gaining 0.23% and STOXX Europe 600 Index climbing 0.62%. German DAX 30 index rose 0.89% and French CAC 40 Index climbed 0.40%. French current account deficit narrowed to EUR1.2 billion in December versus EUR1.9 billion in November. The Bank of England lifted its UK growth outlook for 2014 to 3.4% versus a prior forecast of 2.8%.
Asian markets ended higher today. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average jumped 0.56%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index surged 1.47%, China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.30% and India's BSE Sensex gained 0.42%.China's exports surged 10.6% y/y in January versus a 4.3% growth in December, while imports rose 10% versus an 8.3% advance in the previous month. Australia's consumer sentiment dropped to 100.2 points in February versus January.
Analysts at UBS downgraded Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) from "buy" to "neutral." The price target for Amazon.com has been lowered from $450 to $375.
Amazon.com's shares closed at $361.79 yesterday.
Deere & Co (NYSE: DE) reported a rise in its first-quarter profit. Deere's quarterly profit surged to $681.1 million, or $1.81 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $649.7 million, or $1.65 per share.
AMCOL International (NYSE: ACO) today announced it has signed a definitive merger agreement with Imerys SA (OTC: IMYSF) pursuant to which AMCOL shareholders will receive USD $41 per share in cash for each share of AMCOL common stock that they own, without interest.
WellCare Health Plans (NYSE: WCG) reported a 12% drop in its fourth-quarter earnings. For the new year, WellCare expects earnings of $3.75 to $4.05 per share on premium revenue of $11.6 billion to $11.75 billion.
Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced it is hiring for more than 2,500 new, full-time jobs across its growing U.S. fulfillment network. Median pay inside Amazon fulfillment centers is 30 percent higher than traditional retail jobs.
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