3 Things to Know Ahead of the Opening Bell

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is expected to have a flat start to trading this morning. According to stock index futures as of 7:40 a.m. EDT, the blue-chip index should lose a negligible eight points at the opening bell.

Markets are sticking close to their all-time highs as investors continue to process yesterday's flood of quarterly results. With 47 large companies reporting, it was the single busiest day of this earnings season.

With that in mind, here are a few individual stock stories to watch for in today's market.

It could be a strong holiday season this year, after all. UPS this morning booked $1.16 a share in quarterly profit, a 9.4% boost over last year. Rising e-commerce business in the U.S. helped push total revenue 3% higher to $13.5 billion. That momentum should continue into the all-important fourth quarter: The parcel delivery service reaffirmed its full-year earnings guidance and said it expects to benefit from "robust" online sales this holiday season. UPS' shares are up 1.9% in premarket trading.

Boeing shares could attract buyers today on news of a $20.7 billion deal in the works to supply planes to China. Reuters reported that Boeing has commitments to ship about 200 of its new 737 Max aircraft to a variety of customers there, including state-run airlines. In addition to the huge price tag, these deals would represent a nice foothold in what's sure to be an important aircraft market in the decades ahead. Boeing's shares are unchanged in premarket trading.

Finally, it's steady as she goes at Procter & Gamble . The consumer products giant logged $1.05 in per-share earnings this morning, equal to Wall Street's expectations. Net sales were $21.2 billion, about 2% better than last year's and slightly higher than analysts had forecast. Company-wide organic growth was 4%, which is on par with last quarter's results. P&G's baby care, feminine, and family care business grew by a solid 6%, while its health division was the worst performer thanks to poor results in pet care. The company returned more than $4 billion to shareholders in the quarter, including $1.7 billion in dividends. P&G also affirmed its full-year sales outlook of organic growth between 3% and 4%. Shares are down 0.8% in premarket trading.

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The article 3 Things to Know Ahead of the Opening Bell originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Demitrios Kalogeropoulos has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Procter & Gamble and United Parcel Service. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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