Apr 22 2014 | 8:07 AM

Ahead of the Bell: Dow futures are trading up 5 points and S&P futures are trading up 2 points. Global shares are buoyed by M&A activity, speculation of QE by the ECB, and China's central bank action. Merger activity in the pharmaceutical sector involving Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, and Novartis and Valiant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., and Allergan Inc., are lifting futures trading after markets in Germany, England, Hong Kong, and Australia reopened following the Easter holidays. There is rising expectations among investors of further policy easing by the European Central Bank after the region reported inflation is running at 0.5%. China's yuan fell to its lowest level in 14 months against the dollar, after the central bank set a lower official midpoint of its trading range, highlighting its desire for a weaker currency to manage an economic slowdown.


 



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Apr 21 2014 | 8:06 AM

Ahead of the Bell: Dow futures are trading up 29 points and S&P futures are trading up 3 points. Slowing growth in China and uncertainty over when the Federal Reserve would begin hiking interest rates, coupled with renewed tensions in Ukraine is keeping global financial markets on edge.  However, dovish comments by Fed Chair Janet Yellen last week might smooth some investors nerves. Chinese markets retreated on concerns about a potential share oversupply after the securities regulator released a draft prospectus for new companies planning to list. Reports indicate new and increased violence near a Ukrainian city controlled by pro-Russian separatists killed three people, shaking an already fragile international accord that was designed to avert a wider conflict.


 



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Apr 17 2014 | 8:24 AM

Ahead of the Bell: Dow futures are trading down 13 points and S&P futures are trading down 2 points. The threat of a civil war in Ukraine and disappointing quarterly results from IBM and Google might unnerve investors already shaken by a strong recent selloff in tech stocks. Since early March, the tech-heavy sector has declined over 6%, underscoring the challenges internet and IT companies face as corporate results are due this week. IBM blamed lower than expected earnings on weak demand from emerging markets, while Google reported margins narrowed on declining advertising. Reports indicate pro-Russian forces attacked a Ukrainian national guard base overnight and Kiev said three separatists were killed. Fed Chair, Janet Yellen said achieving the central bank's economic goals "will likely require low real interest rates for some time."  


 



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Apr 16 2014 | 8:47 AM

Ahead of the Bell: Dow futures are trading up 64 points and S&P futures are trading up 8 points. Global stock markets are up today after China reported better than expected economic growth, which comes as a surprise to investors who had feared a much weaker outcome. The world's second largest economy reported a 7.4% increase in the first quarter, versus expectations of 7.0%. China's retail sales data came in better than forecasted but industrial output was a shade lower than expectations. Bullish sentiment also spread across the globe following a late rally in US markets in the previous trading sessions, however gains could be capped as Ukraine appears to be on the brink of civil war.


 



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