Dow Jones May Open Higher as Apple Drags on S&P 500

LONDON -- Stock index futures as of 7 a.m. EST indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) may open up by a nominal six points this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) may open three points lower as Apple's disappointing results threaten to hold back the index from new highs. Bullish sentiment edged even higher yesterday: The CNN Fear & Greed Index closed at 92 last night, well into "extreme greed" territory.

The economic calendar is busier today that it has been all week, with several key data releases expected this morning. First up, at 8:30 a.m. EST, are the latest jobless-claim figures. Initial weekly jobless claims are expected to have risen to 360,000, up from 335,000 the previous week. At 9 a.m. EST, the Market PMI for January is due; consensus forecasts suggest a drop to 53, down from 54 in December. Finally, at 10 a.m. EST, December's leading indicators are expected to show a gain of 0.4%, up from -0.2% in November.

Corporate earnings
Apple
(NASDAQ: AAPL  ) stock is likely to be actively traded this morning after the company reported its most recent quarterly earnings after the closing bell last night. Despite reporting 18% revenue growth, Apple missed its revenue estimates and reported flat quarterly profits of $13.1 billion, suggesting that its profit margins are being squeezed. Although Apple sold 47.8 million iPhones over the Christmas period, this was below consensus forecasts for sales of 50 million units. Apple stock was down more than 9% in premarket trading this morning, and if this drop holds when markets open, nearly $45 billion could be wiped off the company's market value.

It's not all about Apple, however. A number of other big names are due to report quarterly earnings today, including 3M, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Raytheon, and AT&T. Starbucks, Xerox, and Union Pacific are also expected to report, while Netflix stock may soar after rising 37% in premarket trading following its earnings release last night.

European markets
European markets were little changed this morning, with Apple's bad news weighing slightly on sentiment, especially in the tech sector. At 8 a.m. EST, the DAX, the CAC 40, the FTSE MIB, and the IBEX 35 were all changed less than a tenth of a percent. In London, the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE  ) was up by 0.36%, pulled higher by a 3% rise for chemicals business Croda International. Cement giant CRH was also a strong performer, up by 2.9%, while mobile-phone group Vodafone was up 2.8%

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