Dow Poised for Early Gains After Friday's Fall

LONDON -- Stock index futures at 7 a.m. EDT indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average may open up by 0.62% this morning after falling by 208 points on Friday, while the S&P 500 may open 0.55% higher. CNN's Fear & Greed Index has fallen heavily to 50, or "neutral," after closing at 72 on Friday.

European stock markets edged lower this morning following downbeat manufacturing data from China, where the official purchasing managers' index for May was revised down to 49.2 from 49.6, indicating that China's manufacturing sector has slowed more than expected. Closer to home, the eurozone purchasing managers' index for May rose to 48.3, up from 46.7 in April and the highest since February 2012. The standout figures came from Spain, where the manufacturing PMI rose to 48.1 in May from 44.7 in April, reaching its highest level for two years. In the U.K., the May PMI beat expectations at 51.3, and April's reading was revised upward to 50.2, suggesting that the U.K. manufacturing sector is beginning to gain strength and expand. Numbers above 50 indicate expansion, while numbers below 50 indicate contraction.

Today's U.S. economic reports include the Markit PMI for May, which is due at 9 a.m. EDT and expected to come in at 51, up from a preliminary reading of 50.7. April's construction-spending data, due at 10 a.m. EDT, is expected to show a 0.7% increase following a 1.7% fall in March. Also of interest will be May's motor-vehicle sales. Total sales are expected to have risen to 15.2 million, up from 14.9 million in May 2012. Analysts expect General Motors to report 250,007 vehicles sold, up by 1.9% from the same time last year, while Ford is expected to report 243,782 vehicles sold, 13% more than in May 2012.

Company results are limited today, but Cantel Medical is expected to report third-quarter results before markets open, while Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Thor Industries, and Verint Systems are due to report later today. Other stocks that could be actively traded include pharmaceutical firm MannKind, which is 3.2% higher in premarket trading after completing late-stage testing of a new diabetes drug which can be administered with an inhaler.

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 General Motors. 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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