Cautious Gains Likely for Dow
LONDON -- Markets look set to rebound following yesterday's falls, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) set to open up around 0.5%, according to the futures market.
After two consecutive days of disappointing economic data, close attention will be paid to today's figures. They'll include the latest ADP employment report, expected to show an increase in jobs, and weekly jobless claim figures, which are expected to remain unchanged. Also due are revised GDP figures, which may show that GDP grew by only 1.8% in the first quarter, rather than the previously stated 2.2%.
In Asia, markets fell again on eurozone fears and disappointment at slowing economic expansion in India, where first-quarter GDP growth was just 5.3%, the lowest in eight years.
Across the pond, European investors were back in the market today, sending the main indexes upwards in a cautious rebound after yesterday's losses. At 7 a.m. EDT, the FTSE 100 was 0.6% higher, France's CAC 40 was 0.4% higher, the German DAX was up 0.2%, and Spain's IBEX 35 was 0.5% higher.
The main eurozone news today is the Irish referendum over whether to accept the EU Fiscal Stability Treaty. Acceptance would give the bailed-out country access to the new European Stability Mechanism -- Europe's new 500 billion euro bailout fund -- but would require continued strict austerity measures. The Irish are expected to vote in favor of the deal.
In other European news, German unemployment fell marginally, and Greek retail sales are down a sizable 16% on the year.
In company news, Anglo-Dutch computer company Logica saw its share price rise 64% following confirmation of a takeover bid from Canada's CGI Group (NYS: GIB) . Insurer Prudential (NYS: PUK) also rose following its announcement of a $630 million cash deal to acquire the Reassure American Life Insurance Company from Swiss Re.
Insurance is also at the heart of billionaire investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway empire, and the huge float it produces is the main source of capital for the company's investments. One such investment is Buffett's recent $1 billion purchase of a large holding in a leading U.K. blue-chip brand with global expansion potential. You can discover the identity of the company and the price he paid in this special free report.
Earnings releases today include Joy Global (NYS: JOY) , which reported a slight reduction in profit expectations for the year and a 19% fall in Q2 orders before the market opened this morning.
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At the time this article was published Roland Head owns no shares of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and Joy Global. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Berkshire Hathaway. 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.