Markets May Rise on Election Morning

LONDON -- Stock markets are expected to open slightly higher this morning as investors show caution ahead of the results of today's presidential election, which polls suggest could be too close to call. As of 7:30 a.m. EST, stock index futures indicate an opening gain of about 0.3% for both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) and the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) .

The sense of uncertainty in the market is highlighted by CNN's Fear & Greed index, which has been hovering around the neutral mark since the start of the week. Today's economic calendar is fairly bare, but September's job-opening figures, due at 10 a.m. EST, could provide a highlight.

The corporate-earnings schedule is a little busier. Last night's updates included NYSE Euronext, which reported a 21% fall in net revenue to $559 million for the third quarter, thanks to weak trading. Also in the spotlight could be Emerson Electric, which reported revenue in line with expectations at $24.4 billion, with earnings slightly better than expected at $3.39 per share. Companies due to report today include AOL, Pepco Holdings, CVS Caremark, DIRECTV, Marathon Oil, and Office Depot. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. is due to report after markets close tonight.

European markets
In Europe, markets rose in trading this morning, but concern remains over the approval of the Greek austerity measures required for the country to qualify for the next round of its bailout money. Investors are also holding fire ahead of the outcome of the U.S. presidential election as fears build about how and when the fiscal cliff will be resolved.

As of 7:45 a.m. EST, the DAX is up 0.6%, the CAC is up 0.5%, the FTSE MIB is up 0.5%, and the IBEX is up 0.24%. In London, the FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE  ) is up 0.65%. Top risers include ARMHoldings, which gained 2.66% after announcing that it was part of a consortium formed to acquire the patent portfolio of MIPS Technologies, which itself has been acquired by another London-listed company, Imagination Technologies Group.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is not an investor in ARM Holdings, but he did recently invest $1 billion in an FTSE 100 blue-chip brand, expanding his stake in the company to more than 5%. The business concerned is a famous British name with global expansion potential -- and you can discover the identity of the company and the price he paid in this special exclusive report. Best of all, the report is free -- so download it today while it's still available.

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Roland Head owns no shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Emerson Electric and NYSE Euronext. 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.


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