Dow Set for Early Gains


LONDON -- Stock index futures as of 6:20 a.m. EDT indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average may open up 0.48% this morning, while the S&P 500 may open 0.51% higher. CNN's Fear & Greed Index has continued to fall, dropping to 28, or "fear," after closing at 39 yesterday.

European markets have made modest gains this morning, helped by some positive data from the region's largest economies. In the U.K., the number of new jobless claims fell by 8,600 in May, beating expectations of a 5,000 drop. In the eurozone, industrial production rose by 0.4% in April from March, beating consensus forecasts for a 0.2% rise. In the U.K., Vodafone, the 45% owner of Verizon Wireless, dropped 4.4% after announcing that it was in preliminary discussions to acquire Kabel Deutschland, a German cable television company valued at 7 billion euros. At 7:15 a.m. EDT, the FTSE 100 was up 0.2%, while Germany's DAX was flat and Spain's IBEX 35 was up by 1.6%.

Today's U.S. economic calendar includes the Federal budget for May, which is due at 2 p.m. EDT and is expected to come in at -$130 billion, down from -$124.6 billion for the same period last year. Companies due to report quarterly earnings today include H&R Block, which is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings of $2.61 per share, according to consensus forecasts. Also due to report are Men's Wearhouse and PVH, which is expected to report first-quarter earnings of $1.35 per share.

Rambus surged 10.5% in premarket trading after announcing that it had settled a patent dispute with SK Hynix Inc, while Yum! Brands may edge lower when markets open after reporting a 19% fall in same-store sales in China. First Solar was down by 6.3% in premarket trading this morning and is likely to drop heavily when markets open after the firm announced a public offering of 8.5 million new shares of its common stock last night. Heading the other way may be Carnival, which was up 1.6% in premarket trading after announcing that its former president, Bob Dickinson, is returning to the company as a consultant to advise the firm on marketing. Carnival's share price has fallen by 17% since February, when it reported disappointing quarterly earnings.

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 Vodafone Group. 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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