Dow Futures Flat Ahead Of Earnings

LONDON — Stock index futures at 7am ET indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) may open down by 1 point this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) may open down by 1.2 points. CNN’s Fear & Greed Index is expected to open in the greed zone at 61, today, after closing at 63 yesterday.

The major European markets were largely unchanged this morning, following yesterday’s gains. In the UK, official statistics showed that the UK economy grew by 0.8% during the third quarter, broadly in-line with consensus forecasts. However, in Germany, the influential Ifo business climate index fell from 107.7 to 107.4, suggesting that companies may be losing confidence in the strength of the German economy. At 7am ET, the FTSE 100 was up 0.13%, the DAX was down 0.04%, and the CAC 40 was down 0.26%.

Today’s economic calendar kicks off at 8.30am ET with September’s durable goods orders report, which is expected to show that orders rose by 3.0% in September, after gaining just 0.1% in August. October’s University of Michigan consumer sentiment index is due at 9.55am, and is expected to show a fall to 74.8, down from 75.2 in September. Finally, at 10am, August’s wholesale inventories report is due.

On the corporate front, Proctor & Gamble reported fiscal first-quarter earnings of $1.05 per share earlier this morning, down by 1% from the same period last year. Newell Rubbermaid reported earnings of $0.52 per share, up by 11% from the same period last year, while Eaton Corp reported sales of $5.6bn, up by 42% on the same period in 2012. United Parcel Service and Rockwell Collins are amongst those also expected to report before markets open.

Microsoft stock is likely to rally strongly when markets open. The software giant’s shares rose by 5.4% in pre-market trading, after it reported first-quarter earnings of $0.62 per share, up from $0.53 for the same period last year. Similarly, Amazon shares may be in demand when trading starts — the online retailer’s shares were up by 8.7% in pre-market trading this morning, after it reported that its third-quarter loss had narrowed from $0.60 per share last year to just $0.09 per share during the most recent quarter, during which its sales rose by 24% compared to the prior period.

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.