U.S. Stock Futures Point Higher, Monsanto Gains; Dow Futures Add 0.5%

Forex Pros – U.S. stock futures pointed to a broadly higher open on Wednesday, amid speculation the U.S. economic recovery remained on track, while an upbeat earnings report boosted shares in agribusiness giant Monsanto ahead of the open. 

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed a gain of 0.5%, the S&P 500 futures indicated a rise of 0.6%, while Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.75%.

On Tuesday, the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s March policy meeting indicated that policymakers believed the U.S. economic recovery was gaining momentum and could warrant a move toward less accommodative monetary policy this year.

Shares in agribusiness giant Monsanto jumped 2% in pre-market trade after it said second quarter profit rose by 11% to USD1 billion. Revenue in the quarter increased by 5.8% to USD4.13 billion, boosted by strong sales of seed and agricultural equipment.

Shares in metal producers performed strongly after gold prices rallied to an all-time high, while silver prices rose to a 31-year peak. Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold saw shares climb 2.1%, Barrick Gold added 1.2%, while Newmont Mining saw shares gain 1.5%.

Meanwhile, the largest U.S. home-appliance retailer Bed, Bath & Beyond saw shares climb 1% as investors positioned themselves in the stock ahead the company’s fourth quarter earnings report due later in the day.

However, shares in renewable technology firm American Superconductor plunged 46.1% after the company projected a loss for the current quarter and cut its full-year earnings outlook. 

Other stocks in focus included satellite television provider Dish Network, which won a bid for Blockbuster in a bankruptcy court auction for nearly USD320 million.

Also Wednesday, shares in Google could be active after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said it was considering opening an antitrust investigation into the search-engine giant’s dominance of the Web-search industry.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were up as shares in miners led gains. The EURO STOXX 50 rose 0.65%, France’s CAC 40 edged 0.05% higher, Germany’s DAX gained 0.6%, while Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.68%.

During the Asian trading session, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index closed 0.32% lower amid ongoing concerns over the country’s nuclear crisis.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release a report on crude oil inventories.

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