U.S. Markets

U.S. stocks ended higher on Thursday as robust earnings from Apple, Morgan Stanley and General Electric lifted the market, but weaker-than- expected reports on jobless claims and Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index kept gains in check.

The S&P 500 Index was up 7.02 points, or 0.53 percent, at 1,337.38. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 52.45 points, or 0.42 percent, at 12,505.99. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.63 percent.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares gained 2.42 percent to $350.70 as its second quarter earnings and revenue exceeded Street view. Profit was $6.0 billion or $6.40 a share, up from $3.1 billion or $3.33 a share last year. Sales rose to $24.7 billion from $13.5 billion. Analysts had expected profit of $5.36 a share on revenue of $23.34 billion.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) shares advanced 1.69 percent to $26.48 after reporting first quarter net income of $0.46 per share on an adjusted basis against analysts’ estimation of $0.40 per share.

U.S. Futures

Futures on major U.S. indices point to a higher opening on Monday before the release of March new home sales data.

Futures on the S&P 500 are up 0.27 percent, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are up 0.24 percent and Nasdaq100 futures are up 0.23 percent.

The commerce department is due to release March new home sales report at 10:00 am EDT. Economists forecast new home sales to be 280,000 for March against 250,000 in the previous month.

On the earnings front, Netflix, Ameriprise Financial, Express Scripts, Masco CorpJohnson Controls and Kimberly Clark are due to report their quarterly earnings after the closing bell on Monday.

The euro advanced 0.25 percent to 1.4598 against the dollar and the yen declined 0.11 percent. Crude oil futures rose 0.43 percent to $112.77 a barrel and gold futures rose 0.95 percent.

European stock markets were closed for the extended Easter holidays.

Asian Markets

Asian stock markets ended mixed on Monday as Chinese shares declined to the lowest level in three weeks on monetary policy tightening concerns.

Tokyo shares pared early gains and ended slightly lower ahead of slew of corporate earnings reports and U.S. Federal Reserve meeting this week. Stocks advanced in morning session as exporters were gained due to weaker yen. Benchmark Nikkei declined 0.11 percent or 10.25 points to 9,671.96.

Shipping shares advanced on news that earnings sharply rebounded at Japan's three major marine transport companies in the last quarter. Nippon Yusen advanced 1.33 percent to 304 yen and Kawasaki Kisen gained 0.72 percent to 278 yen, while Mitsui OSK Lines gained 1.99 percent to 461 yen.

Among automakers, Nissan Motor declined1.81 percent to 759 yen and Honda Motor declined 1.27 percent to 3,105 yen, while Toyota Motor declined 0.6 percent to 3,275 yen after the company said its March production in Japan plunged 62.7 percent year-on-year.

Chinese shares fell for the second day, led by declines from metal producers and property developers on monetary policy tightening concerns. Chinese Shanghai composite fell 1.51 percent or 45.45 points to 2,965.06. Poly Real Estate Group Co declined 1.96 percent and Aluminum Corp of China Ltd. plunged 3.22 percent.

South Korean shares rose to a fresh record high on Monday as automakers rallied on expectations of robust quarterly results. Seoul composite advanced 18.18 points or 0.83 percent to 2,216.00. Hyundai Motor surged 5.57 percent and Kia Motor’s gained 3.2 percent.

Many markets including Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand were closed for public holidays.