Dow Edges Higher Ahead of U.S. Industrial Data

LONDON -- Stock index futures at 7 a.m. EDT indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average may open up by a mere four points this morning, while the S&P 500 may open less than a point lower. The CNN Fear & Greed Index has continued to rise and is currently reading 87 out of a possible 100, suggesting that investors remain very bullish.

European markets are fairly flat this morning after the latest eurozone GDP figures showed that France had fallen back into recession and Germany's economy had grown by just 0.1% during the first quarter, short of the 0.3% forecast by economists. Today's figures show that the eurozone economy shrank by 0.2% in the first quarter, as many of the region's largest economies contracted.

U.S. investors will be focusing on a raft of domestic economic reports that are due for release this morning. At 8:30 a.m. EDT, the Producer Price Index for April is expected to show that prices fell by 0.7% last month after falling by 0.6% in March. Also at 8:30 a.m. EDT, Core PPI is expected to have risen by 0.2%, while the Empire State Manufacturing Survey for May is expected to read 3.0, down from 3.1 in April. At 9:15 a.m. EDT, April's industrial-production figures are expected to show that output fell by 0.3% in April after rising by 0.4% in March. Finally, at 10 a.m. EDT, the homebuilders' index for May is expected to have risen to 44, up from 42 in April.

Several notable companies are due to update investors with their latest quarterly earnings this morning. Deere reported a 9% increase in revenue and earnings per share of $2.76, up by 6% from the same period in 2012. Macy's is also expected to report its latest results before the opening bell this morning, with analysts forecasting quarterly earnings of $0.53 per share. Other companies due to report before markets open include Arctic Cat, Computer Sciences, and GasLog. Cisco Systems is due to report its latest quarterly earnings after the closing bell, with consensus forecasts indicating earnings of $0.49 per share.

Walt Disney may also be actively traded when markets open this morning -- the stock moved lower in German trading this morning after Bloomberg reported that Lone Pine Capital had reduced its holding in the entertainment company.

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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Roland Head has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Cisco Systems and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Arctic Cat and Walt Disney. 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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