Dow Higher Ahead of Payrolls, While Pandora Media Inc (P) Is Set to Soar: Foot Locker, Inc. (FL), Ann Inc (ANN)

LONDON — Stock index futures at 7 a.m. EST indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average may open 0.67% higher this morning, while the S&P 500 may open 0.34% higher.

After yesterday’s figures showed lower-than-expected jobless claims last week, all eyes will be on today’s key nonfarm payrolls and unemployment reports, due at 8:30 a.m. EST. Consensus forecasts suggest that nonfarm payrolls rose by 160,000 in February, up slightly from 157,000 in January — but not enough to make any dent on the unemployment rate, which is expected to remain unchanged at 7.9%.

Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P)Earnings from Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE:FL), Ann Inc (NYSE:ANN), and Genesco Inc. (NYSE:GCO) are expected before markets open this morning. Analysts are forecasting fourth-quarter earnings of $0.72 per share for Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE:FL), while Genesco, which makes shoes, is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings of $2.12 per share.

Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) stock is likely to be actively traded this morning. The Internet radio company’s share price rose by 21.8% in after-hours trading last night when the company announced that CEO Joseph Kennedy, is standing down. Pandora said fourth-quarter revenue rose by 54% to $125.1 million, beating expectations, although it still reported a loss for the quarter of $0.04 per share due to rising licensing and sales costs. Analysts expect that Pandora’s new CEO will be heavily focused on advertising sales, which are seen as a key source of additional revenue for Pandora.

European markets
Markets edged higher in Europe this morning, helped by news that Chinese exports rose by 21.8% in February, beating expectations for a 10% increase. However, in Europe, German industrial output missed expectations for 0.5% growth and remained flat in January, while in the U.K., construction-sector output fell by 6.3% in January, raising fears that the economy might fall back into a third recession.

At 7:10 a.m. EST, the DAX was up 0.65%, the CAC 40 was up 0.91%, the FTSE MIB was up 1.29%, and the IBEX 35 was up 1.64%. In London, the FTSE 100 was up 0.39%, led by a 4.3% gain for coal, iron, and steel producer Evraz. Asset manager Schroders gained 1.6% after a number of brokers raised their target prices for the firm’s stock.

The article Dow Higher Ahead of Payrolls, While Pandora Is Set to Soar originally appeared on and is written by Roland Head.

Roland Head does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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