LONDON -- After closing unchanged yesterday, markets look likely to open lower on Tuesday. As of 7 a.m. EST, stock futures indicated an opening loss of 0.3% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) and a fall of 0.4% for the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC ) .
Business returns to usual today after yesterday's holiday, and the economic calendar includes the October NFIB small-business optimism index, which was released at 7:30 a.m. EST and matched expectations by rising to 93.1 from 92.8 in September. At 2 p.m. EST, October's federal budget is due. An increase to $113 billion from $98.5 billion in September is expected.
In company earnings, Home Depot got the day off to a positive start, reporting adjusted earnings of $0.74 per share and revenue of $18.1 billion, beating consensus forecasts of $0.70 and $17.92 billion, respectively. The company also updated its full-year guidance, lifting its adjusted earnings forecast to $3.30 per share. Home Depot CEO Frank Blake said in a statement that the results marked "the start of the path toward the healing of the housing market." Other companies due to report earnings today include Cisco Systems, Dick's Sporting Goods, Home Inns, Saks, and TJX.
In Europe, markets eased this morning as fears over Greece grew after International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde and Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker publicly clashed last night over the timetable for Greece to bring its debt down to 120% of GDP. Concerns are also growing that the French economy is weakening, while the ZEW index -- a monthly survey of economic sentiment in Germany -- fell to -15.7 this month, down from -11.5 in October.
At 8 a.m. EST, the DAX was down 0.7%, the CAC was down 0.5%, the FTSE MIB was up 0.18%, and the IBEX was up 0.3%. In London, the FTSE (INDEX: ^FTSE ) was down 0.5%, with Vodafone and Anglo American the two biggest fallers. Telecom giant Vodafone is down 4.6% after revealing a 5.9 billion pound impairment charge for the group's operations in Spain and Italy, while miner Anglo American is 3% lower after issuing an update warning of ongoing delays and likely cost pressures on its Minas-Rio iron-ore project in Brazil.
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