Dow Futures Edge Lower As Summer Slowdown Continues

LONDON — Stock index futures at 7am ET indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) may open down by 0.17% this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) may open down 0.15%. The CNN Fear & Greed Index is set to open at 61, down from yesterday’s close of 62.

European markets were largely flat this morning, following a round of mixed economic reports. In the UK, industrial output rose by 1.1% in June, beating expectations for a 0.6% increase. In Germany, factory orders rose by 3.8% in June, although this was helped by big ticket items, such as aeroplane sales announced at the Paris air show, without which orders would have fallen by 0.7%. Greece notched up a fourth consecutive month of deflation, while in Italy, GDP fell by 0.2% during the second quarter, meaning that the country has been in recession for two full years, although the rate of contraction seems to be slowing. At 7am ET, the FTSE 100 was down 0.2%, the DAX was down 0.04% and the CAC 40 was up 0.05%.

In the US today, the government will publish the June’s trade deficit figures at 8.30am ET, which is expected to have fallen to $43.5bn, down from $45bn in May. This will be followed at 10am by June’s job openings and labour turnover survey (JOLTS). Investors may also be winding down for a summer break — no major economic reports are expected this week, and trading volumes fell to 4.6bn shares yesterday, the lowest level this year, according to WSJ Markets Data Group.

Earnings season is nearly over but a number of big names are still to report. Amongst those scheduled to report before the opening bell this morning are Archer Daniel Midland, Michael Kors Holdings, DISH Network, Emerson Electric, Rowan Companies, International Flavors & Fragrances, CVS Caremark, Molson Coors, Sempra Energy and IntercontinentalExchange. Companies due to report after the close tonight include Walt Disney, Avis Budget Group, CH Robinson Worldwide, DaVita HealthCare Partners, CF Industries Holdings, Marathon Oil and Jazz Pharmaceuticals.

Other stocks that may be actively traded today include The Washington Post Company. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced last night that he will purchase the Washington Post newspaper from the firm for $250m.

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.