Bob Pisani is off; this post was written by CNBC producer Robert Hum.
Stocks look to continue the melt-up to new highs today. Futures were up slightly as commodities and commodity stocks rally. A number of commodities are hitting new highs this morning: crude oil, gasoline, heating oil, copper and platinum.
Today’s trading will be the first stock reaction to the government’s March jobs report, which was revealed on Friday as the markets observed the Good Friday holiday. While the payroll additions were less than economists had hoped due to a lower number of Census hirings, traders were encouraged by the better-than-expected rise in private sector jobs.
Global equities were thinly traded today as many overseas markets are closed today. The major European bourses are closed for the Easter holiday, while China and Hong Kong observed a public holiday in Asia.
Alcoa falls 1 percent, following a downgrade to “hold” at Deutsche Bank. The analyst also reduces the aluminum giant’s full-year earnings target to $0.64 from $1.02 due to various EU fines and concerns over a poor Q1. The report cautions that higher energy prices and start-up costs could offset benefits of higher aluminum prices. Alcoa reports Q1 earnings after the close next Monday.
Tesoro falls 4 percent after being downgraded to “hold” at Deutsche Bank and suffering a major fire at a Washington refinery. The fire – the worst such refinery accident in 5 years — caused 5 fatalities and will reduce its refining capacity by 30 percent.
Arena Resources jumps 8 percent after agreeing to be acquired by competitor SandRidge Energy for $1.55 billion in cash and stock. The deal values gives Arena shareholders $40 per share, a 17 percent premium from Thursday’s close. Meanwhile, the acquisition will allow SandRidge, an Oklahoma City-based oil and gas exploration company, greater resources to boost oil production.
Walgreen reported a weaker-than-expected 2.3-percent rise in March same-store. However, the drugstore chain attributed most of the gains came from the earlier Easter this year, particularly in general merchandise sales, which were significantly short of expectations.
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