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Dow Futures Rise As China Manufacturing Hits 18-Month High

LONDON — Stock index futures at 7am ET indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) may open up by 0.21% this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) may open 0.10% higher. CNN’s Fear & Greed Index is expected to open in the greed zone at 63 today, after closing at 63 yesterday.

European stock markets edged lower this morning, despite overnight data showing that China’s manufacturing sector grew at its fastest rate for 18 months in October, rising to 51.4, from 51.1 in September. There was also good news for the UK’s manufacturing sector, where the Markit manufacturing purchasing manager’s survey for October came in at 56, down slightly from 56.3 in September, but still indicating strong growth. However, the euro’s continued fall against the dollar is worrying some investors, who fear Europe could fall victim to deflation. At 7am ET, the FTSE 100 was down 0.19%, the DAX was down 0.21%, and the CAC 40 was down 0.52%.

In the US, today’s economic calendar begins with October’s Markit PMI at 8.58am ET. Consensus forecasts suggest a fall to 55, from 56.2 in September. At 10am, October’s Institute of Supply Management manufacturing index is expected to read 55.0, down from 56.2 in September. Throughout the day, motor manufacturers are due to report their October sales figures, which could lead to above-average trading in stocks such as Ford and General Motors. Total motor vehicle sales are expected to have risen to 15.4m in October, from 15.2m in September.

Amongst the companies due to report before the opening bell this morning is Chevron, which is expected to report third-quarter earnings of $2.69 per share. Other companies due to report before the open include NextEra Energy, Buckeye Partners L.P., CBOE Holdings, Cooper Tire & Rubber, CVR Energy, Exelis and Genesis Energy.

American International Group was down by 2.7% in pre-market trading this morning and may fall when markets open, after it reported a decline in premium revenue last night, despite logging an increase in third-quarter net income, which rose to $2.2bn, up from $1.9bn for the same period last year. However, First Solar surged 8% higher in pre-market trading, after the solar power firm reported quarterly earnings that beat expectations last night.

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."

If you, like Buffett, are convinced about the long-term power of the Dow, you should read "5 Stocks To Retire On". Your long-term wealth could be transformed, even in this uncertain economy. Simply click here now to download this free, no-obligation report.

> Roland does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.