Dow Futures Move Lower Following Fed Statement

LONDON — Stock index futures at 7am ET indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) may open down by 0.17% this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) may open 0.12% lower, following yesterday’s Fed statement, which failed to rule out a cut to the central bank’s bond-buying programme before the end of the year. CNN’s Fear & Greed Index is expected to open in the greed zone at 62 today, after closing at 64 yesterday.

European markets were mixed this morning, as investors digested yesterday’s comments from the Fed. The FTSE 100’s largest company, the £281bn oil major Royal Dutch Shell, was down by 4.8% at 7am ET, after its third-quarter results missed earnings expectations. At 7am ET, the FTSE 100 was down 0.45%, the DAX was down 0.19%, and the CAC 40 was up 0.13%.

Today’s US economic highlight will be this week’s jobless claims report, which is due at 8.30am, and is expected to show that 335,000 new claims for unemployment insurance were made last week, down from 350,000 during the previous week. November’s nonfarm payrolls report is not due until November 8, so investors will have to wait a further week for more comprehensive information on unemployment levels. Today’s only other economic report is October’s Chicago PMI, which is expected to read 54.5, down slightly from last month’s reading of 55.7.

Earnings season remains in full swing, and amongst those due to report before the markets open this morning are Exxon Mobil, MasterCard, Estee Lauder Companies, ConocoPhillips and ITT. Earlier this morning, Cardinal Health reported fiscal first-quarter earnings per share of $1.10, a 36% increase on the same period last year, despite a 5% fall in revenues, which dropped to $24.5bn.

MasterCard’s main competitors, Visa, fell by 3% in pre-market trading this morning, after the credit card giant missed analysts’ fourth-quarter revenue forecasts last night. Facebook stockmay also be actively traded when markets open — the social networking giant’s shares were up 3.1% in pre-market trading this morning after it reported strong mobile advertising sales growth in its third-quarter results, which were published after markets closed yesterday. Starbucks stock was lower in pre-market trading this morning, after the coffee chain missed sales growth forecasts in its Asian markets.

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