Economic news this morning will include the latest new-home sales data, which is expected to show that the number of homes sold in June rose to 375,000, up from 369,000 in May. The MBA weekly mortgage applications survey is also due before markets open and could provide clues as to the strength of the housing market recovery.
Today will be another big day for corporate earnings, with big names like Ford Motor, PepsiCo, ConocoPhillips, Boeing, Caterpillar, Eli Lilly, and Bristol-Myers Squibb all due to report before the bell this morning. Early trading on the Nasdaq Composite (INDEX: ^IXIC) is expected be influenced by Apple, which reported disappointing earnings last night due to falling iPhone sales. The company warned that the quarter is also likely to be poor in advance of the planned autumn launch for the next-generation iPhone. Apple shares fell by more than 6% in German trading this morning.
In Europe, concerns continue over the economic crisis facing Greece, Spain, and Italy, but there is little concrete progress to report. Spain's 10-year bond yields reached a new high of 7.75% before receding slightly, while markets were cheered briefly when European Central Bank policymaker Ewald Nowotny commented that it might make sense to give the European Stability Mechanism a banking license that would allow it to borrow from the European Central Bank.
In London, the preliminary U.K. second-quarter GDP figures showed a 0.7% fall in GDP -- an unexpectedly bad result that was mostly caused by a 5.2% decline in construction activity over the last three months. Adverse weather is thought to be partly to blame, but the figures confirmed that the Britain's double-dip recession is continuing. The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) initially fell on the news but recovered and was up by around 0.2% at 7 a.m. EDT. Elsewhere, the DAX was up by 0.5%, the CAC by 0.8%, the FTSE MIB by 1.7%, and Spain's IBEX by 2%.
Despite Apple's woes, FTSE 100 tech star ARM Holdings, whose technology is used by Apple, rose by more than 6% this morning after reporting a 12% rise in dollar revenues and a record H2 order book. However, ARM is not the U.K. blue-chip that has attracted billionaire Warren Buffett to invest more than $1 billion. The legendary investor recently bought a famous British name with global expansion potential -- and you can discover the identity of the company and the price he paid in this special exclusive report. Best of all, the report is free, so download it today while it's still available.
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