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LONDON -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) and the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) are expected to open lower this morning, according to futures markets at 7 a.m. EDT.

After a quiet day yesterday for economic news, today's data will include August's wholesale inventories and job opening figures at 10 a.m. EDT, followed by the latest Federal Reserve Beige Book at 2 p.m. EDT. Wholesale inventories are expected to have risen by 0.5% following August's 0.7% rise, providing further evidence of the hesitant state of the economy.

Shares in Alcoa could be active in trading this morning following the company's latest results and revised full-year outlook, which were published after the close last night. Although it beat adjusted earnings forecasts, Alcoa reported a quarterly loss after charges and downgraded its full-year growth forecast, cutting it from 7% to 6% in the light of weakening demand for aluminum from China.

Earnings are expected today from Costco, and investors will be watching carefully to see if they, too, disappoint.

European markets
In Europe this morning, markets fell through the morning as concerns over the eurozone crisis and Chinese growth continued to weigh on stocks. An auction of Italian 12-month bonds highlighted the fragility of the current situation: Yields rose to 1.94% from 1.69% last month, thanks to fears of contagion from Spain. Markets continue to expect a bailout request from Spain, and the country's bond prices fell this morning, pushing the yield on 10-year bonds back up toward 6%.

At 7 a.m. EDT, the DAX was down 0.3%, the CAC was down 0.3%, the FTSE MIB was down 0.5%, and the IBEX was down 0.7%. In London, the FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE  ) was 0.4% lower, but bailed-out banks Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland moved against the trend, gaining 3.5% and 1.7%, respectively, by the end of the morning session.

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Roland Head has no shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. 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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9/30/2016 5:01 PM
^DJI $18308.15 Up +164.70 +0.91%
^FTSE $6899.33 Down -20.09 -0.29%
FTSE 100 CAPS Rating: No stars
^GSPC $2168.27 Up +17.14 +0.80%
S&P 500 INDEX CAPS Rating: No stars