Dow Futures Rise Ahead Of Fed Statement

LONDON — Stock index futures at 7am ET indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) may open up by 0.31% this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) may open 0.26% higher, after both indices closed at record highs yesterday. CNN’s Fear & Greed Index is expected to open in the greed zone at 64 today, after closing at 65 yesterday.

European stock markets moved higher this morning, ahead of today’s Fed announcement and ADP employment report. Yesterday’s big London riser, BP, continued to make progress, and was up a further 1.7% at 7am ET, while Italian oil major Eni was up by 3.4% after posting its quarterly results. German car maker Volkswagen AG was also a top performer, gaining 4.7% after its latest quarterly earnings beat analysts’ expectations. At 7am ET, the FTSE 100 was 0.49%, the DAX was 0.37%, and the CAC 40 was 0.54%.

In the US, today’s economic calendar begins at 8.15am ET with the October ADP employment survey, which is expected to show that 150,000 new private sector jobs were created in October, down slightly from 166,000 in September. At 8.30am, September’s consumer price index is expected to show that prices rose by 0.2% last month, after rising by 0.1% during August. Today’s main event is at 2pm, when the Federal Reserve Open Markets Committee is due to issue a statement following the conclusion of its monetary policy meeting. Investors will be watching closely for any ‘taper clues’, but no changes to the Fed’s bond-buying programme are expected this month.

On the corporate front, results are due before the open from Sprint Nextel, Allstate, Corning, Comcast, Exelon and Hess, while Expedia and Starbucks are both expected to report after tonight’s close. Facebook is also scheduled to report its third-quarter results after the close tonight, and analysts are forecasting earnings of $0.19 per share, with mobile advertising expected to account for a larger share of revenue than previously.

Electronic Arts may be actively traded when markets open; shares in the video game maker rose by 3.8% in after-hours trading last night after the firm’s latest quarterly earnings beat expectations. Shares in Yelp were down by 9.3% in pre-market trading and may fall heavily today, after the review website reported a bigger than expected loss, and said it was planning a further stock offering.

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 BP, but does not own shares in any of the other companies mentioned in this article.