Stock Market Today: voxeljet and Exxon Mobil Lead Futures Higher

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

The futures markets pointed toward a favorable start for the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) as of 9 a.m. EST, with gains of 29 points potentially extending the Dow's record run from yesterday. As the bull market has continued to climb higher, investors have seen contributions from both megacap stock giants and rising upstarts; ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  ) and voxeljet (NYSE: VJET  ) represent good examples from both ends of the bullish spectrum.

On the small-cap side, 3-D printing has been a red-hot niche in the industrial sector, and last night's earnings report from voxeljet has renewed investor enthusiasm in the space, with the stock up more than 9% in pre-market trading. Revenue for the large-format industrial 3-D printer maker rose a whopping 77% as voxeljet boosted its gross margin by more than 7 percentage points. Despite a wider loss, sales of three new printers represented more than half of its total revenue. Custom-printing services also played an important role in the company's performance, rising 12% from year-ago levels. Voxeljet came public a month ago at just $13 per share, but the stock has already quadrupled since then.

At the other end of the spectrum, energy behemoth ExxonMobil traded up 1.5% in pre-market trading, with the company getting a lot of attention from Warren Buffett's big purchase of the stock. Far from a high-growth momentum play, Exxon has actually languished until recently, as concerns about its ability to sustain production levels kept many investors from looking at the integrated oil giant. But in its third-quarter earnings report, ExxonMobil reported production growth, with gains on the oil and liquids side helping to pace strong results in its upstream segment.

In international markets, bullishness continued to abound, as Japan's Nikkei climbed another 2% while most European markets were up a more modest quarter-percent to half-percent as of 9 a.m. EST. With a reading on European inflation weighing in at its lowest level in four years at just 0.9% annually, fears of deflation have redoubled resolve among policymakers to keep interest rates low in the Eurozone for as long as it takes to avoid what could become a crippling downward spiral of prices.

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