Dow May Open Higher After Apple Inc. Beats Forecasts

LONDON — Stock index futures at 6.30am ET indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) may open up by 0.12% this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) may open 0.16% higher.

European markets opened strongly this morning, amid a round of positive economic data from several eurozone countries, and several strong earnings reports. The eurozone Markit composite PMI rose to 50.4 in June, marking the first time since January 2012 that the eurozone’s private sector has delivered overall growth, and indicating that the region is likely to leave recession in the third quarter. However, good news at home was tempered by weak data from China, where the latest HSBC/Markit manufacturing PMI dropped to 47.7, its third consecutive fall. At 6.30am ET, the FTSE 100 was up 0.63%, the CAC 40 was up 0.85% and the DAX was up 0.64%.

PMI data will also feature in today’s US economic calendar. The Markit flash PMI for July is due at 9am, and new home sales figures for June are due at 10am. Analysts’ consensus forecasts indicate that 483,000 new homes may have been sold in June, up from 476,000 in May.

A total of 48 S&P 500 companies are due to release their latest quarterly figures today, including Boeing, which is expected to report second-quarter earnings of $1.57 per share, and Ford, which is expected to post second-quarter earnings of $0.37 per share. Other companies that are expected to report before the opening bell include Eli Lilly, General Dynamics, Reynolds American, Northrop Grumman, Moody’s, PepsiCo, WellPoint Health Networks and Caterpillar. Earlier this morning, Thermo Fisher Scientific reported adjusted second-quarter earnings of $1.32 per share, narrowly beating analysts’ forecasts for $1.30 per share. High-profile names due to report after markets close tonight include Visa, Western Digital and Facebook, which analysts expect to report earnings of $0.14 per share for the most recent quarter.

Yesterday’s earnings reports are also likely to impact today’s trading. Apple stock was up 3.6% in pre-market trading, after it reported better-than-expected sales figures, and earnings of $7.47 per share last night, beating analysts’ estimates of $7.31 per share. AT&T edged lower before markets opened, after its results just missed analysts’ estimates last night, but Broadcom was down 7.3% in early trading, after its third-quarter sales forecasts fell below analysts’ estimates.

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.