Current Futures: Dow -5.00, S&P -1.00, NASDAQ +0.50

Asian markets opened higher for the last trading session of the week, but U.S. futures traded side-ways. Earlier in the day, the U.S. equity markets closed slightly under the break-even line, after Chrysler announced its bankruptcy.

On Thursday, the U.S. spot markets rose almost 2% during the intra-day session, but shed most of the gains very easily after it was announced that Chrysler would reorganize under bankruptcy protection. This comes, after the car-marker officials failed to reach an agreement with its debt holders before a deadline imposed by the U.S. government. Now, the company executives hope that the carmaker will reorganize as a subsidiary of the European producer Fiat.

“Equity markets shed most of its gains after the Chrysler bankruptcy announcement was made, and may set the tone for GM in the next few months when their decision is expected,” Trade Team commented. “However, no one is currently bidding for GM, which means that the restructure will have to support some rather big losses. Previous estimates have forecasted that up to 2 million jobs will be lost if GM is forced to declare bankruptcy,” Trade Team added.

Despite this, the S&P 500 rose 9.4% in April, the biggest monthly gain since 2000. Currently, the index rose 30% from the low reached in March as banks and other important companies topped analysts’ earnings forecasts. In the Japanese Nikkei, car manufacturers were among the top gainers, since the Japanese carmakers are ready to take a big chunk of Chrysler’s market share. Further gains came from commodity stocks also, as the price of metals rose in London.

Overnight, the Nikkei rose 96.01 points (1.09%) to 8,924.27. The Australian S&P/Asx lost 6.50 points (0.17%) to 3,774.00. 

Crude oil for May delivery was recently trading at $50.90 per barrel, down by $0.25.

Gold for May delivery was recently trading down $6.60 to $884.60.