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Futures Higher on the Last Day of First Quarter

CNBC.com
Friday, 30 Mar 2012 | 9:12 AM ET

U.S. stock index futures were higher on the last trading day of the quarter, buoyed by a positive personal income and spending report and after the euro zone agreed to raise its bailout fund.

Major averages poised to log the best start to the year in almost 14 years.

On the economic front, consumer spending increased 0.8 percent in February, the biggest gain in seven months, according to the Commerce Department. Meanwhile, January's spending was revised up to 0.4 percent from a previously reported 0.2 percent gain. Economists had expected a gain of 0.6 percent.

Meanwhile, income eked out a gain of 0.2 percent, below expectations for a 0.4 percent increase.

European shares rallied after, the euro zone raised the combined lending ceiling for their two bailout funds to 700 billion euros from 500 billion, according to the region's finance ministers.

Meanwhile, Spain is set to announce new budget cuts as the government struggles to regain credibility in its efforts to meet deficit targets.

Some Asian marketsdelivered their best quarter in 20 years but the region stayed on the sidelines on Friday ahead of Chinese PMI data on Sunday.

We Are Looking at the Beginning of a Bull Move: CEO
Jack Bouroudjian, CEO at Bull and Bear Partners, told CNBC, "I am expecting a little bit of a pull back, something in the three to five percent range but that is expected in something that has been a phenomenal first quarter run for the stock market."

Also on the economic front, March Chicago manufacturing data at 9:45 a.m ET and the University of Michigan’s March consumer sentiment indicator at 9:55 a.m ET.

Research In Motion will be closely watched after the struggling BlackBerry maker posted a loss and said it was launching a review that could include a sale of the company. At least seven analysts slashed their price targets on the firm.

Meanwhile, BMO raised its price target on Apple to $675 from $590.

—Follow JeeYeon Park on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC

On Tap Next Week:

MONDAY: ISM mfg index, construction spending, Fed's Bullard speaks, Fed's Pianalto speaks
TUESDAY: Factory orders, FOMC minutes, Fed's Williams speaks, auto sales, DC/Maryland/Wisconsin primaries
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, Challenger job-cut report, ADP employment report, ISM non-mfg index, oil inventories, Fed's Williams speaks, JPMorgan's annual letter to shareholders released; Earnings from Monsanto, Bed Bath & Beyond
THURSDAY: Jobless claims, Fed's Bullard speaks, chain-store sales, Yahoo board members' 1st day; Earnings from CarMax
FRIDAY: Good Friday--markets closed/banks open, non-farm payrolls, consumer credit

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