Markets May Open Higher on Euro GDP
This morning saw better-than-expected second-quarter GDP figures for major Eurozone economies, while at home a raft of new economic data due today is expected to show modest improvements on last month. At 8:30 a.m. EDT, July's retail sales figures are expected to turn positive with a 0.2% increase following four months of falls. Also due are July's Core PPI and Producer Price Index figures, with June's inventories report due at 10 a.m. EDT.
At 7:30 a.m. EDT it was announced that July's NFIB Small Business Index, a measure of small-business optimism, had slipped 0.2 points to 91.2.
In company news, Groupon shares reversed Friday's gains in after-hours trading last night following disappointing results. Groupon shares could be active in trading today, as could those of Home Depot, which reported earnings slightly above analysts' forecasts early this morning. Q4 and full-year figures from Estee Lauder are also due before the bell this morning.
In Europe this morning, new GDP figures showed that the German economy grew by 0.3% in Q2, while the Netherlands and Austria also stayed in positive territory. The eurozone's second-largest economy, France, held fast at 0% change, which was better than the expected 0.1% contraction.
However, the eurozone economy as a whole shrank by 0.2% from April to June. Portugal's GDP fell by 1.2% in the second quarter as its austerity program bit hard, while Spain's GDP fell by 0.4% and Italy's shrank by 0.7%. Despite this, at 7 a.m. EDT the DAX was 0.8% higher, the CAC was up by 0.4%, the FTSE MIB was up 0.5%, and the IBEX was 0.4% stronger.
In London, the FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) was up by 0.5% at 7 a.m. EDT. Gains were led by huge buying of United Utilities, which was up 12% at 7 a.m. EDT following newspaper speculation that it might be the subject of a 900 pence-per-share takeover bid. United's opening price today was 689 pence. Also in demand were shares in Standard Life, which were up 6.5% following a decent half-yearly report.
Legendary investor Warren Buffett is no stranger to utility shares, but he isn't thought to be the potential buyer of United Utilities. However, the world's third-richest man recently invested more than $1 billion in a major FTSE 100 company. Buffett 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.
Are you looking to profit from this uncertain economy? "10 Steps To Making A Million In The Market" is The Motley Fool's latest report. We urge you to read it today -- your wealth could be transformed. Click here now to request your free, no-obligation copy. The Motley Fool is helping Britain invest. Better.
Further investment opportunities:
The article Markets May Open Higher on Euro GDP originally appeared on Fool.com.Roland Head owns no shares of any of the companies mentioned. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of The Home Depot. 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.