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Pre-Market: Chinese Trade Weakens; Greek Bonds Make a Comeback


Rite Aid gets a shot of confidence after reporting revised outlook.

Stock futures point toward a lower open Thursday.

Before the opening bell, Dow Jones (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures fell 0.19% to 16,329. Futures on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) were down 0.19% to 1,861.20. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures moved lower, falling 0.22% to 3,583.00.

Initial jobless claims lead today's economic indicators with a 32,000 drop to 300,000 claims in the week ending April 5. The US trade data was positive, with imports gaining 0.6% in March, following a 0.9% decrease in February. Exports grew 0.8% after a 0.7% advance last month. The Bloomberg Consumer Confidence Index will be released at 9:45 a.m. The natural gas inventory comes at 10:00 a.m. At 11:50 a.m., Chicago Fed president Charles Evans discusses central banking after the recession, in Washington. Results of the $13 billion, 30-year note auction will be delivered at 1:00 p.m. The Treasury budget comes at 2:00 p.m., and the money supply and Fed balance sheet are released at 4:30 p.m.

Asian shares rose overnight as many of China's retail store chains reported their monthly sales volumes. Meanwhile, China reported that imports and export fell unexpectedly in March, with overseas shipments slipping 6.6% year-over-year. Japan's core machinery orders were down in February, bringing doubt over the strength of capital spending in light of this month's tax hike. European shares ticked lower on news of Chinese imports. The Bank of England kept its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 0.5%, falling in line with economists' predictions. In Greece, there was huge demand for the first long-term bond issued since 2010. The new five-year bond attracted $27.7 billion in orders, helping push the yield down to 4.95% from an initial price of 5% to 5.25%.

In stock news, Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) beat analyst estimates after the drugstore chain raised its fiscal year guidance. The revised outlook along with higher revenue distracted investors from the 55% drop in earnings in the fourth quarter. Shares of Rite Aid soared 9.69% in pre-market trading.

Luxury retailer LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (OTCMKTS:LVMUY) reported is strongest retail sales growth in two years. The gains helped make up for a decline in alcohol sales. The stock was up as much as 4.3% in European trading.

Chevron (NYSE:CVX) said it expects its earnings for the first quarter will be lower than the previous quarter, chiefly thanks to unfavorable foreign exchange rates and select asset impairments. Shares were down 1.06% ahead of the open.

PC shipments fell less than expected in Q1, according to IDC, sinking only 4.4% year-over-year to 73.4 million after a 5.5% decline in Q4. Gardner reports shipments fell by only 1.7%. IDC says sales were boosted by the purchase of Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 7 systems. IDC also said that Lenovo (OTCMKTS:LNVGY), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), and Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) all saw gains in market share.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) founder Elon Musk said the electric-car maker will begin selling its vehicles in China this month. Shares were down 0.08% in pre-market trading.

Twitter: @brokawbrokaw
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