Dow Looks Headed Down at Open


The three-day run in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) could come to an end today. Stocks had soared to three-month highs on a promising jobs report and hopes that the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank could act to stimulate the economy, but futures are pointed down 0.5% before open. Asian markets were mixed overnight, while European stocks declined as Spanish 10-year yields briefly crossed the 7% mark. The Bank of England also cut back its growth forecast for the U.K. economy, and the S&P lowered its outlook on Greece to negative.

Shares of Disney (NYS: DIS) should open slightly lower after the company beat earnings estimates after yesterday's close but fell short on revenue. The Avengers helped boost the media and entertainment giant's bottom line, though a 4% increase in quarterly sales of $11.09 billion was off the $11.32 billion mark analysts were aiming for. Disney was down 1.2% in premarket trading.

In another sign of the flagging economy, McDonald's (NYS: MCD) reported flat same-store sales for the month of July, below analyst expectations of 2.3%, while revenue at U.S. locations actually declined by 0.1%, marking the company's worst monthly domestic performance since January 2010. Shares of the fast-food chain were down more than 3% before markets opened.

Fellow restaurant chain Starbucks (NAS: SBUX) announced a partnership with mobile-payments service Square, which will begin processing all of its credit and debit card transactions starting this fall. Starbucks already accepts mobile payments through its own app, but Square's is more convenient and doesn't even require users to take their phones out of their pockets or bags. Eventually, customers will be able to pay by simply saying their name. Starbucks also said it would invest $25 million in Square, which is valued at $3.25 billion.

Second-quarter productivity numbers were announced this morning, showing that productivity increased by 1.6%, with a 2% jump in output and a 0.4% increase in hours worked. That number is slightly ahead of the 1.5% analysts expected, and first-quarter productivity was revised upward as well. No other economic reports are expected today.

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Fool contributorJeremy Bowmanholds no positions in the companies in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Starbucks, Walt Disney, and McDonald's. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Walt Disney, Starbucks, and McDonald's. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended writing covered calls on Starbucks. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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