The European Central Bank's expected bond-buying policy announcement is set to dwarf the impact of any domestic data today. A statement is due at 7:45 a.m. ET, followed by a press conference at 8:30 a.m. What is expected is a proposal to buy short-dated government debt with maturities of less than three years, following bailout requests from the countries concerned -- most likely Spain and Italy. A series of careful briefings and leaks mean that there should be few surprises, but some questions remain, especially over the size of the scheme.
On the domestic front, the latest weekly jobless claims figures are due today and are expected to show a small fall in new claims from 374,000 to 370,000. Staying with employment, the ADP survey for August is expected to show that 145,000 new jobs have been created, while in the service sector, the ISM non-manufacturing index is expected to have risen from 52.6 in July to 53.0 in August.
Market activity could be distorted by reaction to the ECB's announcement, but companies whose stock may be actively traded today include Amazon.com, which is expected to unveil new versions of its Kindle line at a press event today. VeriFone Systems might also in the spotlight after reporting disappointing third-quarter sales last night, while Navistar International is expected to report a quarterly loss before markets open.
European markets were optimistic this morning, rising ahead of the ECB press conference at 8:30 a.m. At 7 a.m., the DAX was up by 1.3%, the CAC was 1% higher, the FTSE MIB was up by 1.3% and the IBEX was up by 1.6%. In London, the FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) rose by 0.6%, with the gainers led by hotel and restaurant chain Whitbread, up 5%, and gold miner Randgold Resources, up 4.4%.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is not a fan of gold and usually restricts his investments to American-listed companies. However, he did recently invest $1 billion in a very well-known British blue chip brand, expanding his stake in the company to more than 5%. The business concerned is 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 Set to Rise on Euro Optimism originally appeared on Fool.com.
Roland Head has no shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. 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.
Copyright © 1995 - 2012 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.