Dow Futures Flat As Rally Loses Steam

LONDON — Stock index futures at 7am ET indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) may open down by one point this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) may open unchanged. The CNN Fear & Greed Index remains in the greed zone, and is set to open at 62, after closing at 61 yesterday.

European markets were broadly unchanged this morning, as investors turned cautious ahead of this weekend’s general election in Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to be re-elected, but the make-up of the country’s coalition government is expected to change, thanks in part to the expected strength of a new eurosceptic party, Alternative For Germany. Strong support for this group could trigger destabilising speculation about Germany leaving the eurozone, but it’s also possible that a post-election Germany may also be more willing to progress with eurozone banking union negotiations, which are unpopular in the country. In London, gold miner Randgold Resources was amongst the biggest fallers, as metal prices fell following yesterday’s post-Fed surge. At 7am ET, the FTSE 100 was down 0.03%, the DAX was up 0.07%, and the CAC 40 was up 0.06%.

No major economic reports are due in the US today, but investors may pay attention to a speech being given by Kansas City Fed President Esther George, who voted in favour of tapering at this week’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting, and recently suggested that the $85bn monthly purchase rate should be reduced to $70bn. Next week’s economic calendar includes a raft of housing data and the revised second-quarter GDP reading, which may provide some new information about the strength of the US recovery.

Today’s corporate earnings calendar is also very quiet, but Darden Restaurants is scheduled to report its fiscal first-quarter earnings before the opening bell. Other stocks that may be actively traded include Apple, whose new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C smartphones go on sale worldwide today. Industry analysts will be watching sales closely to judge the success of the new models. Microsoft may also be active, following an analyst briefing on Thursday, along with Tesla Motors, whose stock closed up by 7% yesterday, hitting a new intraday high of $180 after Deutsche Bank increased its target price for the stock from $160 to $200.

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.