Dow Futures Rise Ahead Of Jobless Figures

LONDON — Stock index futures at 7am ET indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) may open up by 0.28% this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) may open up by 0.40%. CNN’s Fear & Greed Index remains in the fear zone, and is set to open at 25 today, after closing at 30 yesterday.

European markets moved confidently higher this morning, after last night’s Fed minutes failed to reveal any new information. The latest PMI data from China also helped encourage to investors, and boost large cap mining stocks: the China HSBC manufacturing PMI rose to 50.1 in August, from 47.7 in July, beating forecasts for a reading of 48.8, and suggesting a return to manufacturing growth for the world’s second-largest economy. AT 7am ET, the FTSE 100 was up 0.8%, the DAX was up 1.1%, and the CAC 40 was up 1.0%.

US investors will once more be focused on domestic data today, as several key reports are due. At 8.30am ET, the latest weekly jobless claims report is expected to show that new claims rose to 330,000 last week, up from 320,000 during the previous week. Next up, at 9am, the Markit flash PMI for August will provide further insight into US economic growth — a big fall from July’s reading of 53.7 could indicate that the recovery is failing to gather pace. Also at 9am, the FHFA home price index for June will provide some guidance on house prices, while at 10am, July’s leading indicators report is expected to show a rise of 0.5%, up from 0% in June.

Several big corporate names may be actively traded today. Hewlett-Packard reported an adjusted fiscal third-quarter profit of $0.86 per share last night, narrowly missing the $0.87 target forecast by analysts. The company also announced a management reshuffle, but investors have been unimpressed so far, and HP shares were 7.4% lower in pre-market trading this morning. Both Hormel Foods and Sears Holdings reported earnings misses earlier this morning, although Sears’ share price still rose by 1.7% in pre-market trading. Other companies reporting before the open include Abercrombie & Fitch, which said that earnings fell 26% to $0.14 per share on revenues of $946m, and Patterson Companies, which reported earnings and revenue largely unchanged from the same period last year.

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.