Dow Futures Rise On Cautious Optimism

LONDON — Stock index futures at 7am ET indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) may open up 0.20% this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) may open up 0.14%, as hopes rise that a debt ceiling deal will be agreed before the October 17 deadline. Commenting on yesterday’s talks, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that “tremendous progress” had been made on Monday. CNN’s Fear & Greed Index remains in the fear zone, and is expected to open at 39 this morning, after closing at 37 yesterday.

European stock markets moved higher this morning as investors bet that with two days to go before the US Treasury may run out of money, lawmakers will find a way to increase the debt ceiling. In London, shares in fashion retailer Burberry were down 4.3% at 7am ET, after the firm’s CEO, Angela Ahrendts, announced that she was leaving Burberry to run Apple’s retail operations. Meanwhile, shares in iron ore and copper giant Rio Tinto were up by 3.9% by late morning, after the firm unveiled strong third-quarter production results. At 7am ET, the FTSE 100 was up 0.84%, the DAX was up 0.74%, and the CAC 40 was up 0.62%.

Today’s US economic calendar is limited to October’s Empire State index, which is scheduled for 8.30am and is expected to read 6.0, down slightly from 6.3 in September. Tomorrow’s inflation reports are expected to be delayed, so investors may continue to focus on progress in Washington, rather than macroeconomic data.

Several major companies are expected to report their results today. Citigroup is scheduled to report its third-quarter earnings before markets open. Analysts’ consensus forecasts suggest earnings of $1.04 per share, and Citigroup shares were flat in pre-market trading. Charles Schwab and Commerce Bancshares, Domino’s Pizza, Johnson & Johnson, Omnicom Group and The Coca-Cola Company are all also expected to report before the open.

Intel and CSX Corp are expected to report after tonight’s closing bell, along with Yahoo!, which analysts expect to report third-quarter earnings of $0.33 per share. Apple shares were up 0.5% in pre-market trading and may be actively traded following the news that Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts will take charge of the firm’s retail expansion, while Microsoft may rise after Jefferies upgraded the firm’s shares to buy.

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 owns shares in Rio Tinto but does not own shares in any of the other companies mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares in Apple and has recommended shares in Burberry.