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Dow and S&P to Open Flat This Morning

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LONDON -- Stock index futures at 7 a.m. EST indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) may open down by a nominal two points this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) may open one point higher.

Today's economic calendar kicks off at 8:30 a.m. EST with December's trade deficit, which is expected to have fallen to $45.5 billion from $48.7 billion in November. At 10 a.m. EST, wholesale inventories for December are expected to show an increase of 0.5%, down slightly from November's rise of 0.6%.

Corporate earnings may be a little more subdued today, as fewer big companies are due to update the markets. Among those reporting before the markets open are AOL, which is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings of $0.41 per share, and Moody's, which is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings of $0.69 per share. Also due to report are American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings and CBOE Holdings.

LinkedIn is likely to be actively traded when markets open; the social networking company announced an 81% rise in fourth-quarter revenue and an 86% increase in full-year revenue after the markets closed last night. LinkedIn stock was up 9% in premarket trading this morning.

European markets
Markets edged higher in Europe this morning on reports that EU leaders had managed to agree on a new EU budget deal in overnight negotiations. Spanish 10-year government bond yields receded, dropping from a recent high of 5.4% to 5.3%.

New trade data from China also provided a lift: Imports rose by 28.8% in January compared with the previous year, according to a customs report, while exports were 25% higher than in the same period last year. However, some analysts sounded a note of caution, as January 2013 contained five more working days than January 2012.

At 7:20 a.m. EST, the DAX was up 0.28%, the CAC 40 was up 0.55%, the FTSE MIB was up 0.9%, and the IBEX 35 was up 1%. In London, the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE  ) was 0.44% higher, led by 2% gains for temporary-power specialist Aggreko and engineering group Weir, both of which benefited from broker upgrades this morning. At the other end of the table, Imperial Tobacco was down 1.7% after broker Investec downgraded the stock from "buy" to "hold."

If you're looking for shares that can outperform the wider market, you need to look beyond the news headlines. This free Motley Fool report, "The Top Growth Share For 2013," highlights a share that gained 38% in 2012, during which time the wider market rose just 6%. The company is a household name and its earnings per share have risen by 44% since 2009 -- so click here now to download your free copy of this report while it is still available.

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DOW 18,308.15 164.70 0.91%
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9/30/2016 5:01 PM
^DJI $18308.15 Up +164.70 +0.91%
^FTSE $6899.33 Down -20.09 -0.29%
FTSE 100 CAPS Rating: No stars
^GSPC $2168.27 Up +17.14 +0.80%
S&P 500 INDEX CAPS Rating: No stars