Stock Futures Shake Off Weak China Data

By MarketsFOXBusiness

FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

U.S. stock-index futures turned positive on Monday despite a round of disappointing data on China on the heels of a volatile trading week.

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As of 8:07 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 24 points, or 0.24%, to 16245, S&P 500 futures advanced 3.5 points, or 0.2%, to 1861 and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 9.5 points, or 0.26%, to 3649.

The markets capped a turbulent trading week to the upside last week, with the broad S&P 500 advancing 1.4%. The pace was expected to slow on Monday, with few major U.S. economic events on the calendar.

Traders were greeted with a report from HSBC showing China's vast manufacturing sector contracted more quickly in March than it did in February. The PMI gauge dipped to 48.1 from 48.5, confounding expectations of a rise to 48.7.

"Weakness is broadly based with domestic demand softening further. We expect Beijing to launch a series of policy measures to stabilize growth," Hongbin Qu, HSBC's chief China economist wrote in a note to clients.

Economists at Barclays added that "we now see downside risks to our growth forecasts."

In corporate news, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is reportedly considering teaming up with Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) to make set-top boxes. Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) plans on nominating a group of three directors picked by activist investor Carl Icahn. Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) said it would invest $1 billion over the next two years in creating the world's biggest network of clouds in a bid to continue pressing on with its Internet of Everything mantra.

Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures climbed 40 cents, or 0.4%, to $99.86 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.46% to $2.921 a gallon. Gold dipped $11.20, or 0.84%, to $1,325 a troy ounce.

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