Dow Futures Rise Ahead Of Retail Sales Data

LONDON — Stock index futures at 7am ET indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) may open up by 0.32% this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) may open up 0.27%. The CNN Fear & Greed Index is set to open unchanged at 44, or ‘fear’.

European markets made gains this morning, helped by news that eurozone industrial output rose by 0.7% in June, while the German ZEW business sentiment index rose to 42 in August, beating expectations for an increase from to 40 36.3 in July. In the UK, inflation edged lower in July, dropping from 2.9% to 2.8%. At 7am ET, the FTSE 100 was up 0.57%, the DAX was up 0.74% and the CAC 40 was up 0.29%.

Today sees the start of this week’s deluge of US economic reports. At 7.30am ET, the NFIB small business index for August is due. This will be followed at 8.30am by July’s retail sales figures, which are expected to show that retail sales rose by 0.3% in July, after gaining 0.4% in June. Also due at 8.30am is July’s import price index, which is expected to show a 0.8% rise in the cost of imports, after a 0.2% fall in June. Finally, at 10am, June’s business inventory figures are expected to show that inventories edged up by 0.1% in June, following a 0.1% increase in May.

On the corporate front, companies due to report their latest quarterly earnings before markets open include Valero offshoot CST Brands, which reported diluted earnings per share of $0.57 for the second quarter, missing forecasts for earnings of $0.70 per share. Also due are the latest results from Flowers Foods, which reported adjusted earnings per share of $0.24, beating forecasts for $0.23 per share. JDS Uniphase and Cree are amongst those expected to report after markets close.

J.C. Penney Company stock may see further active trading following the resignation of activist investor Bill Ackman from the company’s board. Ackman resigned yesterday after having failed to persuade the company to replace its CEO. J.C. Penney’s share price was up 0.6% in pre-market trading, after closing up 2.3% yesterday. Other companies that could be actively traded today include Yum! Brands, which was down 3.4% in pre-market trading, after the company reported a 13% drop in sales in same-restaurant sales in China in July.

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.