U.S. stock futures are higher in pre-market trading for Thursday, April 05.The Nasdaq Futures are trading at 6,619.25  for up with +0.56%  percent or +36.75  point.The S&P 500 Futures are trading at  2,656.75  for up with +0.37% percent or  +9.75 point. The Dow Futures are trading at 24,319.00 for up  with +0.22% percent or +54.00 point.

In overnight trading in the Eastern Hemisphere, Japan’s Nikkei 225 are trading at 21,645.42  for up with +1.53% percent or  +325.87 point. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng are trading at 29,518.69  with a loss of -2.19% percent or -661.41 point. China’s Shanghai Composite are trading at 3,131.11  with a loss of -0.18% percent or  -5.52 point. India’s BSE Sensex are trading at 33,493.81 for up with +1.44% percent or  +474.74 point at 12:15 PM.The FTSE 100 are trading at 7,117.88  for up with +1.19% percent or +83.87 point. Germany’s DAX are trading at 12,142.36 for up with +1.54% percent or  +184.46 point. France’s CAC 40 are trading at 5,219.79 for up with +1.52% percent or +78.00 point. The Stoxx Europe 600 are trading at 372.30  for up with +1.36% percent or +5.02 point.

Thursday’s Factors and Events

In its concerted efforts to enhance shareholder value, the board of directors of Nasdaq, Inc.NDAQ has recently hiked its quarterly dividend by 16%. The new dividend payout amounts to 44 cents per share compared with 38 cents paid earlier. Shareholders of record as of Jun 15 are expected to get the dividend on Jun 29.

The annualized dividend of $1.76 yields 2.1%, based on the closing price of $83.49 as of Mar 28. This is better than the yield of 1.5% for the Zacks Securities Exchange industry. The recent dividend raise marks the fourth straight increase by the company at a four-year CAGR of 35.6%.

Nasdaq boasts a healthy balance sheet and a strong cash position but modest operating cash flow from its diverse business model. A solid financial position ensures shareholder-friendly moves like higher two major consumer nations.

 Wednesday’s Activity

U.S. market were higher on Wednesday. For the day the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 24,264.30 for up  with +0.96% percent or  +230.94 point. The S&P 500 closed at 2,644.69 for up with +1.16% percent or +30.24 point. The Nasdaq Composite closed at 7,042.11  for up with +1.45% percent or  +100.83 point.

Other leading market index closes included the small-cap Russell 2000 Index closed at 1,531.66 for up  with +1.29% percent or +19.51 point; the S&P 600 Small-Cap Index closed at 942.06 for up with +1.20% percent or+11.14 point; the S&P 400 Mid-Cap Index closed at 1,876.78 for up with +0.88% percent or  +16.41 point; the S&P 100 Index closed at 1,159.76 for up with +1.18% percent or +13.50 point; the Russell 3000 Index closed at 1,567.09 for up with +1.15% percent or + 17.76 point; the Russell 1000 Index closed at 1,466.24 for up with +1.13% percent or +16.44 point; and the Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index closed at 24,264.30  for up with +0.96% percent or +230.94 point.