Dow Futures Fall But Nike Inc Beats Expectations

LONDON — Stock index futures at 7am ET indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) may open down by 0.31% this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) may open 0.40% lower. CNN’s Fear & Greed Index remains in the fear zone, and is expected to open at 39 this morning, unchanged from last night’s close.

European markets moved lower this morning, despite news that UK consumer confidence rose to -10 in September, its highest level since 2010, according to the forward-looking GfK consumer sentiment survey. Eurozone consumer confidence also rose, hitting a two-year high of 96.9, according to new figures published by the European Commission’s statistics bureau, Eurostat. One of the region’s biggest heavyweight gainers was Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems, which was up 10% at 7am ET on reports that it is to form a joint venture with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to exploit offshore wind opportunities. At 7am ET, the FTSE 100 was down 0.87%, the DAX was down 0.40%, and the CAC 40 was down 0.29%.

Today’s economic reports should provide further insight into whether US consumers are feeling the benefits of the recovery. At 8.30am ET, August’s personal income report is expected to show that incomes rose by 0.4% last month, after rising by 0.1% in July. Also at 8.30am, August’s consumer spending report is expected to show a 0.3% increase in spending, up from 0.1% in July, while August’s Core PCE price index is expected to remain unchanged from July, at 0.1%. Finally, September’s University of Michigan consumer sentiment index is due at 9.55am; analysts expect a reading of 78.0, up from 76.8 in August.

On the corporate front, all eyes are likely to be on BlackBerry, which reported a quarterly loss of $0.47 per share earlier this morning, narrowly beating analysts’ forecasts for a loss of $0.49 per share.

Other stocks that may be active include Nike (NYSE: NKE.US), after the sportswear firm’sfirst results as a Dow constituent last night beat expectations. Nike stock was up by 5.2% in pre-market trading, after closing up 2.1% yesterday. Accenture, which also reported last night, didn’t fare so well, and the firm’s shares fell by 3.9% in after-hours trading yesterday, after its guidance for the current quarter came in below analysts’ expectations. Microsoft and Ford may also be heavily traded, after website AllThingsD reported that Microsoft’s retiring CEO Steve Ballmer could be replaced by Ford CEO Alan Mulally.

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.