Dow May Slip Ahead of Holiday Weekend

LONDON -- Stock index futures at 7 a.m. EDT indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average may open down by 0.41% this morning, while the S&P 500 may open 0.4% lower. CNN's Fear & Greed Index has fallen to 80 from yesterday's close of 87, but it remains in "extreme greed" territory.

Most European markets edged lower this morning, but there were no repeats of yesterday's falls. New economic reports were limited, but the euro rose against the dollar after the latest German IFO business confidence survey came in at 105.7, beating expectations for a reading of 104.5. New figures also showed that German GDP rose by 0.1% in the first quarter, preventing Europe's largest economy from falling into a recession.

Today's U.S. economic news is limited to April's durable-goods orders, due at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Orders are expected to have risen by 1.4% in April after a surprise fall of 6.9% in March. Increases in aircraft orders are expected to be one factor driving the gains, while orders excluding transportation equipment are expected to have risen by a more modest 0.5%, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists. In corporate news, Abercrombie & Fitch is expected to report its first-quarter results before markets open, as are Foot Locker and Hibbett Sports .

Trading volumes may be lower than usual ahead of the holiday weekend in the U.S. and U.K., but Procter & Gamble may rise as investors welcome the company's decision to bring back its former CEO, Alan G. Lafley, to try to turn around the company's ailing fortunes. P&G stock is up by 2.9% in pre-market trading. Marvell Technology may also rise when markets open -- the firm's stock is up 5.2% in early trading after last quarter's core earnings beat the company's own forecasts despite a fall in revenue.

Some of yesterday's reporters are likely to fall heavily when markets open. Sears Holdings has fallen more than 12% in premarket trading after it reported a bigger-than-expected loss last night, while fellow retailer Gap is also lower in early trading after its guidance for the year ahead disappointed analysts. is down 7.5% in premarket trading after its 2014 guidance disappointed, despite reporting a 30% year-on-year increase in revenue for its fiscal first quarter.

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 Procter & Gamble and 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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