Dow Futures Slide As Shutdown Continues

LONDON — Stock index futures at 7am ET indicated the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) may open down by 0.53% this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) may open 0.67% lower, after US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said that the government is using the last of its “extraordinary measures” to remain below the debt ceiling.

CNN’s Fear & Greed Index remains in the fear zone, and is expected to open at 42 this morning, after closing at 30 yesterday.

European markets slipped lower this morning, as uncertainty continued over the US shutdown, and investors waited for the European Central Bank’s monthly interest rate decision, at 7.45am ET, which will be followed by a statement from ECB President Mario Draghi, at 8.30am.

No change is expected to the ECB’s current policy.

One of the biggest fallers was Europe’s largest retailer, British supermarket Tesco, which was down 3.6% after its half-yearly results missed analysts’ forecasts.

At 7am ET, the FTSE 100 was down 0.86%, the DAX was down 0.58%, and the CAC 40 was down 0.77%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB continued last night’s rally, and was up 1.0% on reports that Silvio Berlusconi will reverse his decision to withdraw from the government, following widespread disagreement within his own party.

In the US, yesterday’s construction spending report was delayed due to the government shutdown, but today’s only major economic report is September’s ADP employment report, which should be published on schedule at 8.15am ET, and is expected to show a slight rise in new private-sector hires to 180,000, up from 176,000 in August.

Tomorrow’s factory orders report and Friday’s non-farm payrolls and unemployment reports are all expected to be delayed if the government shutdown continues.

On the corporate front, agricultural giant Monsanto is expected to report a fourth-quarter loss of $0.43 per share, before the opening bell this morning. The firm reported weaker sales and higher costs during the third quarter.

Global Payments was up 6.8% in after-hours trading, and may be active after beating first-quarter earnings expectations last night.

Alcoa may also be actively traded; the aluminium giant was down 3.3% in pre-market trading this morning after lower aluminium prices prompted Deutsche Bank to cut its rating on the firm from hold to sell.

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."

If you, like Buffett, are convinced about the long-term power of the Dow, you should read "5 Stocks To Retire On". Your long-term wealth could be transformed, even in this uncertain economy. Simply click here now to download this free, no-obligation report.

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