Flat Start Expected for Dow

LONDON -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) is expected to open broadly flat this morning, with futures markets pricing in a rise of just five points for the leading index, which closed up by 2.2% on Friday.

Ongoing relief at the stabilization of the eurozone situation is likely to be tempered by the knowledge that underlying problems remain. However, the sense of respite being felt by the markets is clearly illustrated by CNN's Fear & Greed Index, which rose to 53 (neutral) on Friday, up from 34 (fear) on Thursday.

New domestic economic data due out today includes the latest ISM manufacturing index, which analysts expect to have fallen from 53.5% in May to around 52% in June.

Companies that may feature in trading include Lincare Holdings (Nasdaq: LNCR  ) , which climbed 24% in German trading this morning following news that it has been sold to Linde AG for $3.8 billion. Amylin Pharmaceuticals has also been sold, and its shares jumped by 10% in Europe this morning when investors learned that Bristol-Myers Squibb has agreed to pay $5.3 billion for the company. Also active could be Acuity Brands, which is due to unveil its latest quarterly earnings before the market opens this morning. Analysts are expecting earnings of $0.79 per share on revenue of $492 million.

European markets have been broadly stable this morning, with the main French and German indiexs ending the morning around 1% higher, despite poor economic news. New data this morning showed that unemployment in the eurozone rose to 11.1% in May, compared with 11% in April, while manufacturing output continued to contract. Hardest hit were Italy and Spain: In Italy, youth unemployment has now risen to 36.2%, while Spain's June PMI was just 41.1, down from 42 in May.

In London, the FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE  ) was up by around 0.5% at the end of the morning session. The leaderboard was topped by Barclays (NYSE: BCS  ) and Aviva (NYSE: AV  ) , both of which gained more than 3% after announcing the resignations of their chairmen this morning. The rise was a welcome respite for Barclays in particular, whose shares remain 13% lower than they were a week ago, thanks to its involvement in the LIBOR rate-fixing scandal.

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Roland Head owns no shares of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


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