US stock futures are trading higher following the gains in the Asian and the European markets, after the G7 nations agreed to take coordinated action to halt the yen's surge in the wake of last week's devastating earthquake. Investors will also monitor the efforts to bring damaged nuclear plant in Japan under control. No major economic news is scheduled for Friday.
Ahead of the opening bell, Dow Industrial Average futures were up 87 points, or 0.74 percent to 11,863. Standard and Poor's 500 futures were trading higher by 9.80 points, or 0.77 percent at 1,278.60, while NASDAQ 100 futures stood at 2,245.50, up 17 points, or 0.76 percent today.
Hot Stocks of the Day:
General Mills Inc. (NYSE: GIS) said Friday that it has entered into exclusive negotiations to buy a majority stake in French yogurt company Yoplait, from PAI Partners and Sodiaal. GIS closed at 36.13, gaining 0.22 percent on Thursday.
Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE: DGX) and Celera Corporation (Nasdaq: CRA) said Friday that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Quest Diagnostics will acquire Celera Corporation for $344 million. DGX lost 0.28 percent to $54.05, while CRA gained 27.43 percent to $7.99 in the pre-market trading, after the news.
Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) reported fiscal third-quarter profit late Thursday that was well below Wall Street forecasts. The company posted a profit of $1.08 a share, compared to expectations of $1.12 a share. NKE lost 8.06 percent to $78.53 in the pre-market trading Friday.
Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) may see some heavy trading, after the market research firm iSuppli said late Thursday, that the company could see supply problems for its recent released iPad2 owing to the situation in Japan. AAPL was trading higher by 0.79 percent to $337.29 in the pre-market trading Friday.
Global Markets: FTSE, CAC40, DAX, Nikkei 225, Straits Times, Hang Seng, Shanghai Composite Index
Asian markets closed mostly higher on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 closed at 9,206.75, gaining 244.08 points or 2.72 percent after the G7 pledge to restrain Yen, while Singapore's Straits Times closed lower at 2,935.78 losing 7.10 points or 0.24 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng stood at 22,300.23, up 15.80 points or 0.07 percent. Shanghai Composite Index closed higher by 12.10 points, or 0.42 percent to 2,909.40.
European indexes were trading higher mid-day Friday. Britain's FTSE 100 was trading up by 33.08 points, or 0.58 percent to 5,729.19, while France's CAC40 trading higher by 32.27 points, or 0.85 percent to 3,818.48. Germany's DAX was up 41.24 points, or 0.62 percent to 6,698.12.
Oil prices surge pass $103 per barrel
Ahead of the opening bell, Crude oil was trading higher by 1.65 points or 1.63 percent to $103.07 per barrel, while Gold stood at 1,404 on Friday.
In the Currency Market, Euro was trading up 0.80 percent to 1.4129 against US Dollar, while US Dollar is gained 3 percent against JPY to ¥81.6450. British Pound is trading higher by 0.14 percent to $1.6156 against US Dollar on Friday.
On Thursday, Wall Street closed higher, with Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 161.29 points, or 1.39 percent to settle at 11,774.59, over Wednesday's close. NASDAQ closed at 2,636.05, up 19.23 points or 0.73 percent, while S&P 500 gained 16.84 points, or 1.34 percent to 1,273.72.