Dow Futures Fall As Investors Fear Syria Strike

LONDON — Stock index futures at 7am ET indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) may open down by 0.61% this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) may open down by 0.71%. CNN’s Fear & Greed Index remains in the fear zone, and is set to open at 29 today, down from yesterday’s close of 33.

European markets fell this morning as fears grew that the US and UK may become involved in military intervention in Syria, after a spokesman for British Prime Minister David Cameron told Reuters that the UK was considering a “proportionate response to [the] suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria”. In the eurozone, investors were also concerned that Greece may soon need a third financial aid package. At 7am ET, the FTSE 100 was down 0.75%, the DAX was down 1.58%, and the CAC 40 was down 1.56%.

Today’s US economic reports include the June’s Case-Shiller home price index at 9am, which is expected to show that house prices rose by 12.1% in June, compared to June 2012, after delivering a 12.2% year-on-year gain in May. Next up will be August’s consumer confidence index, at 10am, which is expected to read 78.0, down slightly from 80.3 in July. Investors may be cautious ahead of the report, after new home sales and durable goods orders have both come in below expectations over the last few days.

Amongst a handful of major companies expected to report earnings today is Tiffany & Co, which reported first-half adjusted earnings of $1.53 per share on revenues of $926m earlier this morning. Facebook may also be actively traded after rising by nearly 8% since last week and by 22% over the last month, as investors bet on the firm’s ability to continue its mobile advertising growth. Facebook’s market capitalisation has now risen above $100bn once more, placing it close to Intel and, in terms of valuation.

News that activist investor Bill Ackman has sold his 18% stake in J.C. Penney to Citigroup, who will sell it through a secondary offering to other investors, may trigger further active trading in the retailer’s stock, which was down by 2.6% in pre-market trading this morning, following last night’s announcement.

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.