US Stock Futures Slide Even as Crude Rises
New York (Mar 7) Stock futures were trending lower on Monday even as crude oil continued its surge higher. S&P 500 futures were down 0.36%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 0.24%, and Nasdaq futures slid 0.4%.
Crude oil extended last week's gains and were hovering at a two-month high. Oil surged to the $36-mark on Friday after the U.S. oil rig count dropped by eight to 392, the 11th week in a row the rig count has declined. West Texas Intermediate crude oil was up 1.3% to $36.39 a barrel on Monday morning.
Stocks weren't following suit, however, after last week's strong start to March. The S&P 500 climbed nearly 3% last week in its third straight week of gains after a stronger-than-expected jobs report.
China's Shanghai Composite climbed on hopes for further stimulus from its central bank after growth projections came in on the low side. China's Premier Li Keqiang lowered Beijing's official growth target to 6.5% to 7%, down from last year's rough 7% estimate. Li also promised more market-opening reforms for the world's second-largest economy, including opening up the oil and telecom industries to private competitors. China's annual National People's Congress is currently underway.
Marvell Technology (MRVL - Get Report) climbed 2% on reports it is open to a sale. The semiconductor company is exploring a potential sale not long after settling a $750 million patent dispute with Carnegie Mellon University, according to The New York Post. Avago Technologies (AVGO - Get Report) is a possible interested party, according to the paper.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) was up 2.4% after setting March 15 as the date it will disclose its fourth-quarter earnings and 2016 outlook. The drugmaker had initially planned to report earnings at the end of February, but delayed the release and withdrew previous full-year guidance.
DuPont (DD - Get Report) added more than 2% in premarket trading on reports German chemicals company BASF is interested in making a bid for the company. Any offer would act as a counterbid to a previous agreement DuPont made to merge with Dow Chemical (DOW - Get Report) in December. Dow Chemical is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS portfolio.
Activist hedge fund Starboard Value will reportedly push for control of Yahoo!'s (YHOO - Get Report) board in talks scheduled for this week, according to Reuters. Starboard is seeking at least four board seats, more than half of the current number on Yahoo!'s board. Yahoo! has set a March 26 deadline for major shareholders to submit board of director nominees.
Walt Disney's (DIS) Zootopia ruled the weekend box office, surpassing 21st Century Fox's (FOXA) Deadpool. The animated film earned $73.7 million in ticket sales in North America over the weekend, scoring the fourth biggest March opening ever. Deadpool had ruled the weekend box office for the previous three weeks.