Dow Futures Rise As Stocks Test Record Highs

LONDON — Stock index futures at 7am ET indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) may open up by 3 points this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) may open up half a point, after closing at a new record high on Friday. CNN’s Fear & Greed Index has soared following the debt ceiling deal, and is expected to open at 57 — greed — this morning, after closing at 48 on Friday.

European markets were mixed this morning, but hovered near five-year highs, as new figures from the European Union statistics agency, Eurostat, showed that the total national debt of eurozone countries rose to 90.6% of GDP in 2012, up from 87.3% of GDP in 2011. Investors may be reluctant to commit to new positions ahead of this week’s raft of delayed US economic reports, although shares in Philips rose by 6.7% after the Dutch firm reported that net profits had more than doubled during the third quarter, while business software firm SAP gained 6.1%, after confirming its full-year profit guidance. At 7am ET, the FTSE 100 was up 0.22%, the DAX was down 0.17%, and the CAC 40 was down 0.36%.

This week’s economic calendar will be spiced up with reports that were delayed by the government shutdown. The first of these are due tomorrow, when last month’s delayed nonfarm payrolls and unemployment report are scheduled to be published. Today’s only major report is September’s existing home sales, which is expected to show that sales fell to 5.30m, down from 5.48m in August.

On the corporate front, Halliburton reported third-quarter earnings of $0.83 per share on revenues of $7.5bn earlier this morning, up from $0.67 and $7.1bn for the same period last year. McDonald’s is also scheduled to report before this morning’s opening bell, while Texas Instruments is due to report after markets close.

AT&T stock was up 2.6% in pre-market trading, and is expected to open higher today, after the firm agreed a deal to sell and lease its network of wireless towers to Crown Castle International for $4.85bn. The deal could be worth $9bn if Crown exercises a $4.2bn option to purchase towers at the end of their lease term. Crown Castle also reported its third-quarter earnings earlier this morning, and said it plans to initiate a $0.35 per share dividend in 1Q2014.  JPMorgan Chase may also be actively traded following weekend reports that it is nearing a $13bn settlement with the Department of Justice.

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.