U.S. futures were down slightly in premarket trading as crude prices also decline Wednesday morning. The indices will look to carry the momentum from a strong day in trading on Tuesday that saw the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq all close the day with at least a 2% rise.
International standard Brent crude contracts for May delivery were down $0.35 to $36.46 per barrel while West Texas crude contracts for April delivery were falling $0.67 to $33.73 per barrel. Today's early decline breaks a strong rally that the commodity experienced in trading yesterday. Oil prices may be volatile today as the latest update on U.S. crude inventories is scheduled for release at 10:30 a.m. EST.
World markets were strong performers today, with all three major Asian indices closing the day in the green. In Europe, the German DAX is leading the way, up 0.5% while the CAC is also slightly up, less than 0.1%. The FTSE 100 was the lone index in the red, down 0.2% with about three hours left in trading.
Railroad services company CSX (CSX) continued to rise premarket -- extending the rally it experienced in after-hours trading on Tuesday -- following reports that the company was approached by rival Canadian Pacific (CP) with a $20 billion takeover offer. CSX reportedly rejected that offer.
Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) was rising Wednesday after topping analysts' earnings expectations of $0.99 per share by $0.09, while also reporting revenue above estimates.
Shares of Weatherford International (WFT) were dropping after the company priced its secondary offering of 100 million shares at $5.65. WFT stock closed trading Tuesday at $6.19.
Ross Stores (ROST) are rising after the company reporting a quarterly profit of $0.66 per share, topping analyst estimates of $0.64. The company also announced that it increased its quarterly dividend 15% to $0.135 per share. Ross Stores could face some negative pressure today, however, due to its weak current quarter and full-year guidance.
Starbucks (SBUX) -- a holding in the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio -- announced that its former chief operating officer has resigned about a year after he took a leave of absence. The company did not say why Troy Alstead left the company.
Last night, Real Money's Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers on CNBC that he is bullish on Action Alerts PLUS holding PayPal (PYPL), Service Corp (SCI), CenturyLink (CTL) , Verizon (VZ), Spirit Airlines (SAVE), Delta Air Lines (DAL), American Airlines (AAL) and Southwest Airlines (LUV); and was bearish on Consol Energy (CNX), Frontier Communications (FTR) and Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD).
An ADP and Moody's Analytics jobs report today said that new hires totaled 214,000 in February, easily topping analysts' expectations of 185,000 new hires. However, the report also stated that 208,000 of those jobs were created in the service sector while the manufacturing sector lost 9,000 jobs. Today's announcement comes out ahead of the highly anticipated nonfarm payrolls scheduled for Friday.