U.S. stock futures signal gains; eyes on RIM

* U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall
Street on Thursday for the first session of the quarter, with
futures for the S&P 500 (SPc1: ) up 0.54 percent, Dow Jones (DJc1: )
futures up 0.49 percent and Nasdaq 100 (NDc1: ) futures up 0.52
percent at 0741 GMT.

* Research in Motion (RIMM.O: ) will be in the spotlight after
the maker of the Blackberry smartphone posted results that
lagged expectations, sending its stock tumbling in after hours.
Shares of RIM traded in Frankfurt (RIM.F: ) were down 7 percent.

* Micron Technology Inc (MU.O: ) delivered only its second
quarterly profit in nearly three years as a recovering economy
helped lift prices for its DRAM memory products well beyond Wall
Street expectations. Shares in Micron traded in Frankfurt (MU.F: )
were up 1.7 percent.

* On the macro front, China’s vast manufacturing sector
moved up a gear in March as orders climbed, two business surveys
showed on Thursday, pointing to brisk first-quarter GDP growth
that could spur further policy tightening by Beijing.

* Borders Group Inc (BGP.N: ) repaid a loan to its largest
investor and secured access to more credit as it reported a
sharply higher quarterly profit, giving much needed breathing
room to the ailing bookseller.

* Fertilizer maker Mosaic Co (MOS.N: ) said on Wednesday that
its fiscal third-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.) more than tripled, but it missed
estimates due in part to higher-than-expected taxes and currency

* Oil (CLc1: ) slipped on Thursday from the highest closing
price in almost 18 months as investors liquidated positions
ahead of the Easter holiday.

* Ahead of Friday’s payrolls, investors’ focus will be on
the latest weekly U.S. initial jobless claims numbers, as well
as monthly ISM manufacturing data and construction spending.

* U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) fell on Wednesday as a report showing a
surprising drop in private-sector employment stoked concerns
about the health of the labour market two days before the
government’s key jobs data.

* The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) dropped 50.79
points, or 0.47 percent, to close at 10,856.63. The Standard &
Poor’s 500 Index (.SPX: ) shed 3.84 points, or 0.33 percent, to
1,169.43. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) fell 12.73 points,
or 0.53 percent, to end at 2,397.96.

Investment Analysis

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Sharon Lindores)

U.S. stock futures signal gains; eyes on RIM