Early Gains Likely for Markets

LONDON -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) and the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) may open slightly higher this morning, according to futures markets, after all three main U.S. markets lost ground yesterday.

With little new data due today, investors are likely to be in wait-and-see mode, looking forward to tomorrow's German court ruling on the legality of the European Stability Mechanism and Thursday's Fed decision on quantitative easing. Lined up for today are August's NFIB Small Business Index at 7:30 a.m. EDT, July's U.S. trade deficit at 8:30 a.m. EDT, and August's job opening figures at 10 a.m. EDT.

Several large companies could stir the markets today if they reported unexpected results. McDonald's is due to report monthly sales figures, while United Natural Foods is due to publish quarterly results before markets open, and Texas Instruments will provide a mid-quarter update after the bell tonight. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters could also rise after Lavazza confirmed it had increased its stake from 5% to 6.8%.

European markets
European markets were in a cautious mood this morning ahead of tomorrow's German ruling on the ESM. At 7 a.m. EDT, the DAX was down 0.1%, the CAC was down 0.4%, the FTSE MIB was down 0.8%, and the IBEX was down by 1%. Spanish bond yields rose slightly this morning following Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's television appearance last night, during which he showed reluctance to accept any conditionality in return for financial assistance and said he would postpone any decision on a bailout until after the country's regional elections, which are due to take place on Oct. 21.

In London, the FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE  ) was down by 0.4%, with the fallers led by luxury-goods brand Burberry Group, which shed 18.6% of its value after issuing a downbeat trading update, warning of challenging trading conditions and saying that pre-tax profits for the current year were likely to be at the lower end of expectations. There was some good news, however, with the latest British trade deficit figures showing that trade with countries outside the EU improved in July, helping to reduce the overall deficit from 4.3 billion pounds in June to 1.5 billion pounds in July.

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Roland Head has no shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of McDonald's and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and McDonald's. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a lurking gator position in Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. 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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