Stock Futures Tick Up on Encouraging Factory Data

By MarketsFOXBusiness

FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

A round of generally upbeat data on the global manufacturing sector pushed U.S. stock-index futures higher on the first day of the second quarter.

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Today's Markets

As of 8:00 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 46 points, or 0.29%, to 16420, S&P 500 futures advanced 4.8 points, or 0.25%, to 1869 and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 10.2 points, or 0.29%, to 3597.

The S&P 500 posted its fifth-straight quarterly advance on Monday. The gains this year have been tepid, though, with the broad-market index only climbing 1.3%.

Traders were greeted with a slew of global manufacturing data on the day. China's official factory gauge edged up very slightly in March from the month before. Still, a private survey still came in contraction territory. Another report showed the eurozone's factory sector grew in March from the month prior as the 18-member currency bloc's economy continues recovering. Activity in Germany and France -- the bloc's two biggest economies -- topped expectations.

Analysts at Barclays called the global data "robust," a welcome change from the choppiness seen in recent months.

Traders will get a key U.S. factory report at 10:00 a.m. ET. The Institute for Supply Management's PMI gauge is forecast to have climbed to 54 in March from 53.2 the month prior. Economists said the economy is still recovering from its winter doldrums, when worse-than-usual weather swept across the country.

In corporate news, a Senate panel alleged Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) dodged $2.4 billion in taxes between 2000 and 2012, although the world's biggest heavy machinery giant stands by its accounting. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) suppliers are working on building screens for the not-yet-announced iPhone 6, according to a report from Reuters.

Monthly sales figures from the Big Three U.S. automakers are due out on the day. General Motors (NYSE:GM) CEO Mary Barra is set to testify before Congress over the ignition-switch scandal that hit the No. 1 U.S. automaker.

Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures fell 28 cents, or 0.28%, to $101.30 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dipped 0.9% to $2.911 a gallon. Gold rose $1.50, or 0.12%, to $1,285 a troy ounce.

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