Dow Futures Edge Higher Before Earnings Reports

Stock index futures showed the Dow Jones and S&P 500 opening slightly higher this morning, ahead of a round of major earnings reports.

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LONDON — Stock index futures at 6.30am ET indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) may open up by nine points this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) may open two points higher. The CNN Fear & Greed Index is expected to open at 68, up from Friday’s close of 64.

European markets were mixed this morning, with most markets largely unchanged at 6.30am ET. Asian markets were mostly higher after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party secured control of the country’s upper house in the weekend’s general elections, giving Abe control of both houses of parliament. Analysts believe this should help Abe push through much-needed reforms to help boost growth in Japan. The price of gold rose sharply after Asian markets opened this morning, and spot gold was up by 1.6% at $1,317 per ounce at 6.30am.

In the US, today’s economic reports are scheduled to include June’s Chicago Fed National Activity Index at 8.30am ET, while at 10am, June’s existing home sales data are expected to show that existing home sales rose to 5.28m last month, up from 5.18m in May.

Today’s main highlight is expected to be corporate earnings, with McDonald’s, Kimberly-Clark, Lennox International, Corning, Hasbro, Halliburton and Gannett Co all due to report their latest results before markets open this morning. McDonalds is expected to report earnings of $1.40 per share on revenue of $7.09bn. Among the companies due to report after the closing bell tonight are Texas Instruments, IDEX Corp, Netflix and Crane Co. Netflix is expected to report earnings of $0.40 per share, up from $0.11 per share during  the same period last year.

Coming later this week, Ford and General Motors will update markets, as will tech favourites Apple, Amazon, Zynga and Facebook, whichwill be keenly watched after disappointing figures from Microsoft and Google last Friday. Microsoft closed down by more than 11% on Friday and could be actively traded today as investors seek to benefit from the fall; Microsoft stock was up 0.8% in pre-market trading this morning. Gold miners such as Newmont Mining Corp and Barrick Gold may also rise when markets open — the two firms’ share prices were up by 2.8% and 3.3% respectively in pre-market trading today, following this morning’s sharp increase in the price of gold.

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.The Motley Fool owns shares in Apple.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

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