LONDON -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) is expected to open lower again this morning, according to the futures market. Weak domestic economic data and ongoing concerns over Greece and Spain are unlikely to provide much upward momentum, although a big fall seems unlikely.
Trade deficit figures for April are due to be published at 8:30 a.m. EDT and are expected to show that the gap between imports and exports grew from $46 billion to $50 billion last month. Weekly jobless claims figures are also due this morning but are forecast to remain unchanged from last week at 365,000.
In company news, Cisco Systems may fall in morning trade following a weak sales outlook for the current quarter, during which it only expects to post a 2% to 5% increase in sales, below analyst expectations of 7% growth. In Germany, shares in the networking giant fell by more than 8% in morning trade, following last night's earnings announcement.
Elsewhere, both the Hang Seng and Nikkei indexes closed lower last night following weaker-than-expected trade figures from China. Both exports and imports disappointed, raising concerns over a slowdown within the world's second-largest economy.
European markets rose slightly in early trading, but news that Spain is partly nationalizing the country's largest bank -- and that Greece has moved onto its third and probably final attempt to form a coalition government -- did nothing to boost confidence. By late morning, both France's CAC 40 and Germany's DAX were down, although the Spanish IBEX 35 beat the trend with a modest increase.
In London, the FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) finished the morning down by around 0.5% as traders anticipated the Bank of England's decision to leave U.K. interest rates unchanged and stop its current quantitative easing program.
Solid results from BT Group (NYS: BT) failed to lift the company's share price in London, and the former telecom monopoly is not the famous British blue chip company that prompted billionaire Warren Buffett to invest more than $1 billion. You can discover which British brand he did purchase and the price he paid in this latest free report.
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