Dow & S&P May Fall on Opening

LONDON -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) and the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) may open slightly lower this morning, according to futures markets as of 7 a.m. EDT. After yesterday's retail sales data came in above expectations, investors will be waiting to see what today's economic data has to offer.

Due this morning are July's consumer price index, core CPI, and industrial production figures. Both CPIs are expected to show an increase of 0.2%, while industrial production is expected to have risen by 0.6%, up from 0.4% in June. However, current low trading volumes suggest that many investors in the U.K. and U.S. are holding fire until the European situation becomes clearer, regardless of domestic news.

Several major companies are due to report quarterly results today. Staples kicked things off early with second-quarter revenues that was 4% below analysts' expectations and earnings per share of $0.18, 18% lower than forecast. Deere, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Target may also be in focus, as all are due to release results before markets open, while networking giant Cisco is due to release full-year figures after the bell tonight.

European markets
A report in the Financial Times this morning revealed that Greece is planning to make a formal request next week for the schedule of its bailout program to be relaxed and extended in order to help its struggling economy recover. In the bond markets, German 10-year bonds yields rose, and Spanish 10-year bond yields fell, thanks to speculation that Spain might be moving closer to a full bailout request.

In the markets, the DAX was down 0.4%, the CAC was down 0.3%, the FTSE MIB was up 0.9%, and the IBEX was down 0.3% as of 7 a.m. EDT. In London, the FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) was down by 0.4%, mostly because a number of big companies went ex-dividend and this morning's sell-off of Imperial Tobacco and British American Tobacco -- following an Australian court ruling that plain packaging was legal and would be implemented from December -- put a drag on the market. Standard Chartered bank led the risers and was up by 4.9% at 7 a.m. EDT following the news that it had reached a $340 million settlement with the New York Department of Financial Services.

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Roland Head owns no shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Standard Chartered, Staples, and Berkshire Hathaway. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Berkshire Hathaway and Staples. 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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