With no major domestic economic data due today, European developments and U.S. company earnings are likely to be in the spotlight. Concerns over growth were highlighted this morning when the German IFO Index, which measures business confidence, came in lower for the fifth consecutive month, falling from 102.3 to 101.4 in September.
Concerns are also growing that many U.S. companies will begin reporting weaker earnings over the next half-year. No major companies are reporting today, but homebuilder Lennar got the day off to a good start, reporting earnings of $0.40 per share on revenue of $1.1 billion, beating analysts' expectations for EPS of $0.28 on revenue of $1.02 billion. Due to report after the bell tonight are PayChex and Red Hat.
European markets fell this morning, thanks to the disappointing German business confidence reading and fears that progress on fixing the eurozone crisis may be stalling. Spanish 10-year bond yields rose to 5.8% as investors continue to question how long beleaguered Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will resist before requesting a bailout.
At 7 a.m. EDT, the DAX was down 0.7%, the CAC was down 1.2%, the FTSE MIB was down 1.4%, and the IBEX was down 1.5%. In London, the FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE ) was down by 0.6%, with miners continuing their rollercoaster ride and giving up recent gains once more. At 7 a.m. EDT, the six biggest losers were all mining shares, led by Evraz and ENRC, both of which were down more than 4%. Heading the other way were defensive favorites GlaxoSmithKline and Centrica: Both stocks were up by around 0.5% at the end of the morning sessions.
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