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Dow Futures Flat As Policy Uncertainty Continues

LONDON — Stock index futures at 7am ET indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) may open up by two points this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) may open down by one point. CNN’s Fear & Greed Index has slipped back into the neutral zone, and is expected to open at 51 this morning, after closing at 56 last night.

In Europe, markets edged higher this morning, but gains were minimal, as investors digested the latest German Ifo business confidence index, which rose to 107.7, up from 107.6 in August, missing expectations for an increase to 108. Shares in Telecom Italia climbed 3.3% after Spanish operator Telefonica said that it would pay $437m to increase its stake in the firm by 4.5%. At 7am ET, the FTSE 100 was up 0.10%, the DAX was up 0.11%, and the CAC 40 was up 0.52%.

A raft of housing data will hit US investors today, with the Case-Shiller home price and FHFA home price indices for July both due to be published at 9am ET. One hour later, at 10am, September’s consumer confidence index is expected to read 79.5, down from 81.5 in August. September’s Richmond Fed manufacturing survey is also expected at 10am. Finally, Cleveland Fed President Sandra Pianalto and Kansas Fed President Esther George are both expected to speak at the Chicago Fed’s payments symposium today, at 9.30am and 1pm ET, respectively.

There will be more housing data in today’s company news, too. Earlier this morning, homebuilder Lennar reported fiscal third-quarter earnings of $0.54 per share, beating consensus forecasts for earnings of $0.45 per share. Homebuilding peer KB Home is expected to report earnings of $0.21 per share for the third quarter before the open, while cruise ship operator Carnival Corporation is also expected to report this morning, and was down by 1.2% in pre-market trading. BlackBerry stock is also likely to be actively traded again, following news of the company’s $4.7bn takeover deal — the firm’s stock was up slightly at $8.85 in pre-market trading this morning.

Red Hat may be heavily sold when markets open; the tech firm was down by 8% in pre-market trading after it reported second-quarter billings of just $376m, missing analysts’ expectations for $398m. Apple may also be active again, as investors digest reports that the firm sold a record 9m of its new iPhone model during the launch weekend, ahead of expectations.

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 does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares in Apple.