What to Look for in the Dow Today


Following a sleepy Monday, Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) investors will look to a slew of economic data for an indication of where the economy is headed.

Earlier this morning, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that personal income increased 0.5%, while consumption dropped by less than 0.1%. Markets had been anticipating an uptick of 0.4% in income, while personal consumption was predicted to grow by 0.2%.

Today's reports also include the Case-Shiller 20-city Index, which comes out at 9 a.m. EDT. The update is a measure of housing in 20 of the nation's biggest metropolitan areas but only contains May data, as it operates on a two-month lag. The market is expecting a drop in prices of 1.8% following a 1.9% decline in April.

At 9:45 a.m. EDT, the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index will be released, with economists expecting a reading of 52.5. Any figure greater than 50 represents an expansion; June's result was 52.9.

Finally, the Conference Board will release its Consumer Confidence Index at 10 a.m. EDT this morning. Economists are predicting a level of 61, down from 62 in June.

Reporting earnings this morning, drug giant Pfizer (NYS: PFE) beat estimates with adjusted EPS of $0.62, versus the Street's target of $0.54. Profit jumped 25% thanks to lower costs in production, marketing, and restructuring. The earnings increase came despite the fact that blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor came off patent, sending revenue down 9% from last year. Management estimated a revenue loss of about $2 billion due to generic competition for Lipitor. Shares gained 1% in premarket trading.

Around the world, stocks were mixed in Europe and up overnight in Asia. June's eurozone unemployment rate in reached a record high of 11.2%, with Spain topping the list at 24.8%. The Iberian country also said that $200 billion in investment left the country in the first five months of the year -- a development likely to make any recovery tougher. Investors are hopeful that a European Central Bank meeting later this week will reveal greater steps to support the euro as the crisis continues to guide markets. Dow futures are up slightly ahead of the bell.

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The article What to Look for in the Dow Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Jeremy Bowman holds no positions in the companies in this article.Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Pfizer. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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