LONDON -- Stock index futures at 7 a.m. EDT indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) may open up by 0.17% this morning after plunging more than 200 points to close below 15,000 yesterday, while the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) may open 0.28% higher. CNN's Fear & Greed Index has continued to fall and currently sits at 32, indicating "fear," down by more than 50% from a "greed" reading of 70 one week ago.
European markets edged higher this morning ahead of monthly monetary-policy decisions from the Bank of England and the European Central Bank. As expected, the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted to leave both interest rates and its quantitative-easing program unchanged. The ECB's decision is due at 7:45 a.m. ET. European investors are also showing caution ahead of today's U.S. jobless-claims figures. At 7:20 a.m. EDT, the FTSE 100 was up just 0.11%.
U.S. investors will focus closely on today's initial jobless-claims report, which is due at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Consensus forecasts suggest that new claims may have fallen to 345,000 last week, down from 354,000 the previous week. Today's figures are likely to be treated as a prelude to tomorrow's key nonfarm payroll report as investors continue to speculate on how soon the Federal Reserve will begin to wind back its QE program.
Companies due to report quarterly earnings before markets open this morning include J. M. Smucker, ANN, Ciena, and Uti Worldwide. Sodastream International rose more than 30% in premarket trading after an Israeli publication reported that PepsiCo is in discussions to by the company. However, PepsiCo CEO quickly rebutted the report, calling it "totally and completely untrue." Sodastream's premarket gains have since slipped to 5.6%. The stock has risen by 26% in the last month.
VeriFone (NYSE: PAY) may fall this morning after the firm revealed a second-quarter loss of $0.54 per share after markets closed last night, down from a $0.03 per-share profit for the same period last year. The firm blamed high legal costs for the loss, but its shares closed down by 5% last night and are down by almost 15% in premarket trading this morning. Vera Bradley may also fall after reporting a 27% fall in first-quarter profit and cutting its full-year guidance; the handbag designer's share price is down 11% in premarket trading this morning.
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