Dow Futures Turn Positive As Syria Vote Approaches

LONDON — Stock index futures at 7am ET indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) may open up by 0.24% this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) may open 0.28% higher. The CNN Fear & Greed Index remains in ‘fear’ territory, and is set to open at 36 today, after closing at 33 on Friday.

Despite strong gains overnight for Asian markets, European markets edged lower this morning, as uncertainty over western intervention in Syria continues. In China, exports rose by 7.2% in August compared to the same period last year, beating consensus forecasts for 5.5% growth, but this positive data failed to lift sentiment as the ongoing prospect of Fed tapering also weighed on European markets. In corporate news, pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline announced that it has agreed to sell its Ribena and Lucozade drinks to Japan’s Suntory, for £1.35bn (about $2.1bn). At 7am ET, the FTSE 100 was down 0.4% and the DAX was unchanged.

In the US today, economic reports are limited to July’s consumer credit figures at 3pm ET, and investors are likely to focus far more closely on President Obama’s chances of success this week as he tries to persuade Congress to vote to authorise US air strikes against Syria. The likelihood of the Federal Open Markets Committee deciding to start tapering the Fed’s bond-buying programme when it meets next week is also likely to remain a key issue for investors.

Companies scheduled to report quarterly earnings before markets open today include Hovnanian Enterprises, while Palo Alto Networks, Five Below, Casey’s General Stores and Pep Boys are expected to report after the closing bell today.

In other corporate news, Apple stock may be actively traded today after the company issued invitations to a presentation on Tuesday that it says should “brighten everyone’s day”. Apple is widely expected to unveil its latest iPhone models at the presentation, and may also announce details of a partnership with China Mobile, which has 700 million subscribers, and could be a major new sales channel for the iPhone. Apple stock was up 1.2% in pre-market trading this morning and has gained 25% since the start of July. Smithfield Foods may also gain on Friday’s post-close news that US regulators have approved the firm’s acquisition by China’s Shuanghui International.

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> Roland owns shares in GlaxoSmithKline but does not own shares in any of the other companies mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in GlaxoSmithKline.