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The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was set for a hot start to the second quarter ahead of the latest data on weekly jobless claims.
Nasdaq futures were higher by 0.91% while S&P 500 futures were up 0.24% and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were little changed.
In stocks, Microsoft Corp. won a $21.9 billion contract to supply the U.S. Army with augmented reality headsets for the next 10 years.
|MU||MICRON TECHNOLOGY, INC.||88.21||+1.67||+1.93%|
|WDC||WESTERN DIGITAL CORP.||66.75||+1.29||+1.97%|
In deals, Micron Technology Inc. and Western Digital Corp. are each exploring deals for Japanese semiconductor manufacturer Kioxia Holdings Corp. that would value the company at about $30 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. Kioxia is also looking into a possible initial public offering, the report said.
|AMD||ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES, INC.||78.50||+2.50||+3.29%|
The news lifted shares of other semiconductors, including Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Intel Corp.
|F||FORD MOTOR CO.||12.29||-0.18||-1.44%|
Elsewhere, Ford Motor Co. said it will cut production at seven North American plants due to the global chip shortage. The company will provide updated guidance on April 28.
|JNJ||JOHNSON & JOHNSON||164.62||-0.50||-0.30%|
Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson shares slipped after a batch of its COVID-19 vaccine was discovered to have a problem in the manufacturing process overseen by Emergent BioSolutions Inc. The company did not reveal how many doses were ruined.
Pfizer Inc. announced its COVID-19 vaccine was found to be 91% effective against the South African variant. The drug manufacturer said it plans to seek full regulatory approval from U.S. regulators.
In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil climbed $1.04 to $60.20 per barrel and gold ticked down $1.20 to $1,714.40 an ounce.
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Overseas markets were broadly higher.
Britain’s FTSE 100 was out front in Europe, trading up 0.52%, while Germany’s DAX 30 and France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.29% and 0.21%, respectively.
In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index surged 1.97%, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rallied 0.72% and China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.71%.
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