Positive Start Expected for Markets


LONDON -- Markets may open higher this morning, with futures markets at 7 a.m. EDT signalling a 0.15% opening gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) and a 0.28% gain for the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) . The Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC) is expected to open unchanged.

Today sees a raft of new economic data, with September's producer price index due at 8:30 a.m. and expected to show an increase of 0.8%, down from 1.7% in August. Also due at 8:30 a.m. is September's Core PPI index, expected to remain unchanged at 0.2% from last month. Coming later, at 9:55 a.m., is the preliminary reading from October's University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey, expected to show a marginal rise to 78.5 from 78.3 last month.

Corporate earnings may generate more interest today. At 7 a.m. EDT, JPMorgan reported quarterly earnings of $1.40 per share, exceeding analysts' expectations of $1.22 per share. Wells Fargo is also due to report before the opening bell. Shares in AMDcould also be actively traded this morning after the company updated its third-quarter outlook to indicate a 10% decline, citing weak demand "across all product lines."AMD fell by 8.1% in German trading this morning.

European markets
In Europe, markets have edged downward slightly this morning. At 7 a.m., the DAX was down 0.2%, the CACwas down 0.1%, the FTSE MIB was down 0.1% and the IBEX was up 0.5%. News that the EU has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize mystified many, but did not reduce investors' ongoing concerns about the delay in decisive action to resolve the eurozone crisis.

In London, the FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) was down 0.2% at 7 a.m. Fund supermarket and retail broker Hargreaves Lansdown led the gainers with a 3% rise after reporting record quarterly revenues and assets under administration. Hargreaves was followed closely by banks Standard Chartered, Lloyds Banking Group, and Barclays, which all ended the morning around 2.5% higher.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is a major investor in Wells Fargo, which reports today, but he also recently invested $1 billion in a very well-known FTSE 100 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.

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Roland Head has no shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo andStandard Chartered. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Wells Fargo.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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