U.S. stock index futures were rallying in premarket trading on Friday. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were both up over a point -- 1.1% and 1% respectively -- while the Dow Jones Industrial average was up 0.97%.
European markets are also having a strong day of trading with the CAC 40 rising 1.3%, the German DAX climbing 1.7% and the FTSE 100 up 1.8%. The performance of Western countries' markets runs in contrast to the rout Japan's Nikkei experienced today, dropping 4.8%, while the Hang Seng also declined 1.2%.
The Nikkei has fallen more than 11% this week as investors dump their riskier assets in the market and instead put their money in safe havens like gold and government bonds. Investors also put their money into the yen, which is trading against the U.S. dollar at its strongest level in over a year.
On the flip side, European stocks were rallying as European banking stocks finally began to rebound from their selloff. German bank Commerzbank was leading the way higher, climbing 17% following the release of its fourth quarter financial results.
In U.S. banking news, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon purchased 500,000 shares of his company's stock for over $25 million, according to media reports. The purchase comes amid a bank selloff in the U.S. that has caused the company's stock to drop 20% year to date. JPMorgan shares were up 3.6% before the opening bell.
However, Jim Cramer writes this morning that retail investors should not necessarily follow into Dimon's footsteps as the bank's stock may still go lower.
Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS) could see a bounce after the company raised its quarterly dividend by 10.4% to $0.53 per share while also authorizing an additional $1 billion to its share repurchase program. The company still had $1.8 billion left from its original $5 billion share repurchase authorization.
Pandora Media (P) media may face some negative pressure today after the company reported missing analysts' bottom line fourth quarter expectations after the closing bell yesterday. Pandora earned $0.04 per share in the period vs. analysts' $0.07 per share expectations. Pandora's stock closed Thursday trading up over 8% following reports that it was exploring a sale.
Shares of CBS (CBS) were flat pre-market following the release of the company's earnings results on Thursday. The media giant reported earnings that were in line with expectations on revenue that rose 6.2% year over year to $3.91 billion.
Finally, shares of Boeing (BA) were falling slightly in pre-market trading after being downgraded to "neutral" from "overweight" by analysts at JPMorgan. The firm made the downgrade following reports that the SEC would be conducting a probe into the company's accounting practices concerning the production and sale of its 787 and 747 aircraft.