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Dow Futures Flat Ahead Of Delayed Jobs Report

LONDON — Stock index futures at 7am ET indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) may open unchanged this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) may open down by one point, ahead of this morning’s delayed September nonfarm payrolls report. CNN’s Fear & Greed Index is expected to open in the greed zone at 59, today, after closing at 56 yesterday.

European markets were largely unchanged this morning, ahead of this afternoon’s key US jobs report. In London, consumer goods group Reckitt Benckiser and miner BHP Billiton topped the leaderboard after strong quarterly updates, while in Switzerland, Europe’s largest pharmaceutical firm, Novartis AG, edged higher after increasing its full-year guidance. At 7am ET, the FTSE 100 was up 0.23%, the DAX was unchanged, and the CAC 40 was up 0.05%.

Today sees the publication of September’s delayed US nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate reports, which are scheduled for 8.30am ET. Consensus forecasts suggest that 185,000 new jobs were added to the economy in September, up slightly from 169,000 in August. The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 7.3%. At 10am this morning, August’s construction spending report is expected to show that spending rose by 0.5% during August, after increasing by 0.6% in July.

On the corporate front, Whirlpool reported third-quarter earnings per share of $2.72 this morning, up by 51% on the same period last year. DuPont reported a 41% increase in third-quarter earnings, which rose to $0.45 per share, up from $0.32 for the same period last year. Delta Air Lines, Lockheed Martin, Reynolds American, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Forest Laboratories, Lexmark and Harley Davidson are amongst a long list of companies scheduled to report quarterly earnings before markets open this morning.

Investors may also pay attention to news from Apple this afternoon, when the company is expected to unveil the latest version of its iPad at a media event. Netflix rose by 11.3% in pre-market trading this morning and may be actively traded when market open. The video-streaming company reported after the close last night, beating expectations with third-quarter earnings of $0.52 per share on sales of $1.11bn — compared to consensus forecasts of $0.49 per share on $1.1bn. 

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.