Dow May Open Flat as Markets Pause

LONDON -- Stock index futures at 7 a.m. EDT indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average may open a mere two points lower this morning, while the S&P 500 may open down by half a point. Last week's strong job figures helped the CNN Fear & Greed index climb strongly: It closed up 13 points to 76 on Friday, placing it into "extreme greed" territory.

European markets edged lower this morning, but volumes were low, as London and Tokyo markets were closed for a public holiday. Among the big movers in Europe were German industrial gas producer Linde AG, which was up 3.9% at 7:15 a.m. EDT after its latest results beat expectations. Heading the other way was German utility firm E.ON SE, which was 7.1% lower after it forecast a 15% fall in earnings for the current year on Friday, citing lower power prices.

No major economic reports are due in the U.S. today, so investors are likely to focus on corporate news. Volumes may also be lower than usual due to the lack of London trading. Companies that may see strong interest today include Tyson Foods and Sysco.Analysts expect Tyson to report second-quarter earnings of $0.45 per share on revenue of $8.58 billion, while Syscois expected to report third-quarter earnings of $0.43 per share on revenue of $11.1 billion. Other major companies due to report results today include Anadarko Petroleum, which is expected to report earnings of $0.93 per share on revenue of $3.4 billion after markets close tonight.

Berkshire Hathaway stock could also see active trading after Warren Buffett's firm unveiled a 51% increase in first-quarter profit after markets closed on Friday. The firm said net income rose to $4.89 billion from $3.25 billion during the same period of the previous year. Berkshire stock closed up by 1.25% on Friday and is almost 2% higher in premarket trading this morning. Other companies that could attract additional interest today include Intel, which is 1.2% higher in premarket trading after it announced that it's buying Stonesoft Oyj, a Finnish software company specializing in cloud-based security products, for $389 million in cash. BMC Software is up 1.7% in premarket trading after Reuters reported that it may shortly be acquired by Bain Capital and Golden Gate Capital.

Finally, let's not forget that the Dow's daily movements can add up to serious long-term gains. Indeed, Warren Buffett recently wrote, "The Dow advanced from 66 to 11,497 in the 20th Century, a staggering 17,320% increase that materialized despite four costly wars, a Great Depression and many recessions." If you, like Buffett, are convinced of the long-term power of the Dow, you should read "5 Stocks To Retire On." Your long-term wealth could be transformed, even in this uncertain economy. Simply click here now to download this free, no-obligation report.

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