New economic data due today should include June's job openings, at 10 a.m. EDT, and June consumer credit figures, which are expected to show a $10 billion increase when they are published at 3 p.m. EDT -- smaller than May's $17.1 billion rise.
Several major companies are due to report throughout the day, with results from MGM Resorts, Emerson Electric, Office Depot, and CVS among those due before the bell and Walt Disney due to report after the close tonight. Shares in Chevron could be actively traded when markets open following news of a major fire in one of its refineries, which could push gasoline prices up.
European markets continued to inch higher this morning, despite disappointing economic data. New figures showed that German factory orders fell by 1.7% in June -- worse than expected. This leaves German orders 7.8% lower than a year ago, suggesting that the eurozone downturn is beginning to hurt its strongest economy.
In Italy, there were fresh signs that the country's deep recession is continuing to worsen. New GDP figures showed that Italy's economy shrank by 0.7% in the second quarter and that its industrial output fell by 1.4% in June alone, leaving it 8.2% lower than a year ago. At 7 a.m. EDT, the DAX was up by 0.4%, the CAC was 0.5% higher, Italy's FTSE MIB was up almost 1%, and Spain's IBEX was 1.1% higher.
In London, the FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE ) was down by 0.2% at 7 a.m. EDT, dragged lower by the collapsing share price of Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN.L ) , which fell 23% in the first four hours of trading this morning. Standard Chartered has been accused of breaking U.S. sanctions by working with the Iranian government to hide U.S. dollar transactions.
At the other end of the scale, shares in FTSE 100 members InterContinental Hotels Group and coal miner Evraz were both up by more than 5% this morning following strong interim results and a broker upgrade, respectively.
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