Dow May Fall as Growth Fears Return


LONDON -- Stock index futures at 7 a.m. EDT indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average may fall 0.61% this morning to give back most of yesterday's big gains, while the S&P 500 is expected to open 0.62% lower, wiping out the progress it made yesterday. CNN's Fear & Greed Index has stabilized at 77, rising from yesterday's close of 75 and ending a week-long decline.

European markets reversed yesterday's gains this morning as fears grew over the possibility that the U.S. Federal Reserve might soon begin to taper its bond-buying program. Strong U.S. economic data has raised concerns that the country's growth could soon trigger cutbacks to monetary stimulus, which is widely seen as having helped to fuel recent market gains. As of 7:10 a.m. EDT, the FTSE 100 is down 1.5%, while Germany's DAX is down by 1.7%.

Investor sentiment may also have been cooled by widespread cuts to global growth forecasts by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In its latest report, published today, the OECD cut its forecast for global growth in 2013 from 3.4% to 3.1%, reduced its forecast for China from 8.5% to 7.8%, and lowered its U.S. growth forecast from 2% to 1.9%. The OECD also said it expects the eurozone economy to contract by 0.6% this year, rather than the 0.1% previously expected. No major economic reports or corporate earnings are due in the U.S. today, so the OECD report could influence this morning's trading.

Companies that are due to report before this morning's opening bell include TheFresh Market , which reported a 12.9% increase in net sales and a 14.6% rise in diluted earnings per share to $0.46 in its first-quarter results this morning. Fresh Market said that comparable-store sales rose by 3%, while net income rose to $22.1 million, up from $19.3 million during the same period last year. Other companies reporting before the bell include Michael Kors, RBC Bearings, renewable-energy firm Trina Solar, and Movado, while Tilly's and Avago Technologies are expected to report after the close tonight.

Bank of America could also see active trading when markets open: It's down by 1.2% in premarket trading.

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 The Fresh Market. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, Movado Group, and RBC Bearings. 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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