Dow May Rise Despite Cyprus Uncertainty

LONDON -- Stock index futures at 7 a.m. EDT indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average may open 0.11% higher this morning, while the S&P 500 may open up by 0.26%. The CNN Fear & Greed Index has continued its recent retreat, closing at 67 (greed) last night, down from its previous close of 73.

Europe could be in the spotlight once more today as events in Cyprus enter a critical stage. Cypriot politicians have drawn up a wide-ranging set of capital controls that they hope to vote into law later today. The controls are part of a nine-bill package aimed at restructuring the country's Laiki Bank and finding a bailout solution that will be acceptable to the European Union and the International Monetary Fund following Russia's refusal to provide further assistance. A final agreement is unlikely before the weekend but is needed by Monday, when the European Central Bank has threatened to withdraw liquidity support from Cypriot banks.

Elsewhere in Europe, Germany's Ifo Business Climate Index dropped for the first time in five months from 107.4 in February to 106.7 in March. European markets were mixed through the morning, but there were no serious sell-offs. In London, the FTSE 100 was up by 0.31% at 7:25 a.m. EDT.

There are no major economic reports scheduled for release in the U.S. this morning, but companies due to report quarterly earnings before the opening bell include Tiffany, which is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings of $1.36 per share on revenue of $1.25 billion, and Darden Restaurants, which is expected to report earnings of just $0.01 per share for the third quarter. BlackBerry will also be in the spotlight today as it launches its new Z10 smartphone in the U.S.

Nike stock could be actively traded this morning after the sportswear firm reported a 55% rise in quarterly revenue after the close last night. Quarterly earnings rose to $0.73 per share compared with $0.61 per share for the same period last year, significantly ahead of analysts' consensus forecasts for earnings of $0.67 per share. Nike stock was up 8% in premarket trading this morning, while Micron Technology rose by 6.4% in early trading after the company beat estimates with second-quarter sales of $2.08 billion.

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Roland Head has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Nike. The Motley Fool owns shares of Darden Restaurants and Nike. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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