LONDON -- Stock index futures at 7 a.m. EDT indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) may open 0.35% lower this morning after closing at a new high last night, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) may open down by 0.37% after closing within two points of its all-time high yesterday. As the S&P 500 approaches record levels, the CNN Fear & Greed Index has also moved higher, closing at 76 yesterday in a return to "extreme greed" territory.
In Europe, protests continue in Cyprus as the country's central bank governor says its banks will open tomorrow with new capital restrictions in place. Italian markets moved lower after yet another set of negotiations failed to produce a coalition to govern the country. Italy has been without an effective government since elections were held at the end of February, and a new round of elections now looks increasingly likely.
In the U.K., the Bank of England said U.K. banks needed to raise a further $38 billion to meet capital shortfalls and cover potential loan losses. The report did not specify which banks were affected, but Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays moved higher after the announcement, which was lower than a previous $90 billion estimate. Revised GDP figures showed that the U.K. economy expanded by just 0.2% in 2012, less than the 0.3% previously reported. Both the British and French economies shrank by 0.3% in the final quarter of 2012.
In the U.S., investors will be looking ahead to February pending-home-sales figures, which are due at 10 a.m. EDT. Consensus forecasts suggest that sales may have fallen by 0.5% in February after rising by 4.5% in January. Also of interest may be the EIA weekly petroleum status report, due at 10:30 a.m. EDT.
Companies due to report before the opening bell today include UniFirst, which is expected to report earnings of $1.13 per share. Companies due to report after markets close today include Paychex, Red Hat, Texas Industries, SYNNEX, HB Fuller, Steelcase, Five Below, and PVH. SAIC stock could also be actively traded this morning after the technical-services provider announced a $1 special dividend in its full-year results, which were published after markets closed last night. SAIC shares moved 4.2% higher in after-hours trading last night.
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