Eurobond Hope May Lift Dow

LONDON -- U.S. stocks are expected to open slightly up this morning, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) showing a small gain in the future markets. Optimism over a solution to the Greek crisis has increased after Italian prime minister Mario Monti claimed most European leaders already support the idea of Eurobonds, which would lower the cost of Greek debt.

The only domestic economic news due today is the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, which is expected to show a slight improvement on April. No major company results are expected, and following the rally of the last two days, some profit-taking is likely before the Memorial Day weekend.

Indeed, after two weeks during which CNN's Fear & Greed Index has registered "extreme fear," the respite of the last two days is likely to be temporary, as none of the underlying causes for concern -- a slowdown in China or the Eurozone -- have been resolved.

Over in Europe, consumer confidence surveys in France and Germany showed small increases, but with no other economic data due today, this had minimal impact on trading. In Germany, newspapers reported a number of large companies have been making specific preparations for a Greek euro exit.

Elsewhere, solvency problems continue to press down on Spain's banking sector, with shares in the country's fourth-largest bank, Bankia, suspended this morning. Bankia is due to present a restructuring plan later today. It has already been part-nationalized as part of a previous bailout attempt.

In London, the FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) initially traded higher, approaching 5,400 at one point, before slipping back again as traders took profits. By noon, the U.K.'s leading index had lost around 0.4%, but several companies had managed gains, including income favorites National Grid (NYS: NGG) and Aviva (NYS: AV) . But neither is the British blue chip whose shares tempted Warren Buffett to invest more than $1 billion. The identity of that company is divulged in this special free report.

In company news, Quest Software (NAS: QSFT) may rise in trading today, following confirmation that it is in takeover talks with Dell Computer.

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At the time this article was published Roland Head owns shares in Aviva but no other shares mentioned in this article.Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of National Grid. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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