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Dow May Open Lower as Microsoft, Google Miss Expectations

LONDON — Stock index futures at 6.30am ET indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) may open down by 0.14% this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) may open 0.08% lower. The CNN Fear & Greed Index is expected to open at 64, up from yesterday’s close of 57, as investor sentiment improves once more.

European markets slipped lower this morning, as traders took profits on July’s recovery, which has seen the FTSE 100 gain 6.3% so far this month. Disappointing results last night from Microsoft and Google helped drag down ARM Holdings and fellow chip designer Imagination Technologies. Mobile giant Vodafone also edged lower after reporting another fall in revenue in its core European markets. At 6.30am ET, the FTSE 100 was down 0.36%, the DAX was down 0.31% and the CAC 40 was down 0.27%.

Today’s US economic calendar is empty, suggesting that investors will focus on today’s corporate earnings. Among the companies due to report before the opening bell are General Electric, Schlumberger, Whirlpool, State Street and Honeywell. Microsoft and Google may also be actively traded when markets open, after both companies disappointed investors with downbeat updates after US markets closed last night. Microsoft’s share price was 6.6% lower in pre-market trading this morning, after it reported earnings of $0.59 on revenues of $19.9bn, below analysts’ expectations of $0.75 per share and $20.7bn. Google proved a similar disappointment, after it reported a 6% fall in average ad rates during the second quarter, following a 4% fall in the first quarter. The firm also reported a sharp rise in operating costs, and Google’s share price was down by 3.9% in pre-market trading this morning.

Other companies that could be heavily traded today include Boeing, which was down 1.3% in after-hours trading after reports that another of its troubled 787 Dreamliner jets was forced to make an unscheduled landing, and Advanced Micro Devices, which was down 4.7% in pre-market trading after it reported a second-quarter net loss of $74m after markets closed last night. Capital One Financial may open higher this morning, after it reported a big rise in quarterly profits compared to the same period last year, citing falling provisions for losses and rising customer spending.

Finally, let’s not forget the Dow’s daily movements can add up to some serious long-term gains. Indeed, Warren Buffett recently wrote: “The Dow advanced from 66 to 11,497 in the 20th Century, a staggering 17,320% increase that materialized despite four costly wars, a Great Depression and many recessions.

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> Roland owns shares in Vodafone but does not own shares in any of the other companies mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares in Google and Imagination Technologies, and has recommended shares in Vodafone.