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Pre-Market Primer: Stocks Rebound After Bank of Japan Turns on the Tap

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Portugal might fall off the austerity wagon after a court decision.

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US stocks got a lift this morning as earnings season commences and the Bank of Japan begins a massive monetary stimulus program.

Stock futures were erased some of Friday's losses from the disappointing jobs report. Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures gained 0.26% at 14,522. S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) futures rose 0.38% to 1,551.80 and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures climbed 0.39% to 2,773.75.

European stocks are higher today. Portugal's high court struck down the austerity measures that the country is forced to do to recieve aid.

German industrial productino rose 0.5% on a monthly basis in February. However, January's data was revised down to a 0.6% drop from an initial reading of zero growth. Investor sentiment in the Euro region fell to -17.3 this month from -10.6 in March, the lowest reading in five months. Sentix, which releases the indicator, attributed the sharp drop to the bungled bailout of Cyprus.

The Nikkei Index (INDEXNIKKEI:.NI225) rallied 2.8% to its highest level since August 2008 and the yen fell to 98.54 to the dollar as the Bank of Japan began its radical asset purchases to fight decades of deflation. The BOJ will buy 1 trillion yen of government bonds with five- to ten-year maturities and 200 billion yen in longer-term debt.

United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) appealed the European Commission's decision to block its acquisition of Dutch rival TNT Express (AMS:TNT). UPS abandoned the $6.7 billion bid to buy TNT in January.

General Electric (NYSE:GE) announced that it will acquire Lufkin Industries (NASDAQ:LUFK), a company that provides equipment for the oil and gas industry. Shares of Lufkin rose 37% in pre-market trading, reflecting the premium that GE paid.

Alcoa (NYSE:AA) kicks off the corporate earnings season after the bell today. Analysts expect the company's earnings per share to fall to $0.08 from $0.10 in last year's first quarter as falling aluminum prices hurt the company's bottom line. Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) both report on Friday.

The Federal Reserve will release the minutes from its latest meeting this week. This evening, Chairman Ben Bernanke will deliver a speech on the bank stress tests.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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