Dow Futures Rise Ahead of Jobless Report And Revised GDP

LONDON — Stock index futures at 7am ET indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) may open up by 0.10% this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) may open 0.11% higher. CNN’s Fear & Greed Index has fallen further into the fear zone, and is expected to open at 39 this morning, after closing at 43 last night.

European markets edged lower once more this morning, ahead of this afternoon’s weekly US jobless claims report. Revised GDP figures published by the UK’s Office for National Statistics showed that the UK economy grew by 0.7% during the second quarter. The GDP readings for the previous three quarters were all revised, leaving annualized growth at 1.3%, less than the 1.5% previously implied by the second-quarter figures. At 7am ET, the FTSE 100 was down 0.16%, the DAX was down 0.30%, and the CAC 40 was down 0.45%. In Italy, the FTSE MIB was down 1.8%, on renewed fears that the country’s fragile coalition government could be about to collapse.

US investors will be watching for news of progress on debt ceiling negotiations, but will also be focused on today’s weekly jobless claims report, which is due at 8.30am ET, and is expected to show an increase in claims to 327,000, up from 309,000 last week. The revised second-quarter GDP reading is due at 8.30am, and is expected to show that the US economy grew by 2.7% during the last quarter on an annualised basis, up from an initial reading of 2.5%. Finally, at 10am, August’s pending home sales index is due, and is expected to show a 1.5% fall in pending sales, which fell by 1.3% during July.

In corporate news, condiments giant McCormick & Company has reported a 4% increase in sales and earnings per share of $0.78 for the third quarter. The firm said it expected sales and adjusted earnings to rise by 7% during the fourth quarter, although it moderated its full-year guidance. Nike and Accenture are both due to report their latest quarterly results after the close tonight.

Bed Bath & Beyond may be in demand when markets open. The firm’s shares surged by 6.4% in after-hours trading after it reported strong profits after the close last night. Heading the other way could be manufacturing services firm Jabil Circuit, whose share price fell by 3.7% in after-hours trading, after it downgraded its first-quarter guidance.

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.