LONDON -- Stock index futures at 7 a.m. EDT indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) may open up by 0.3% this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) may also open 0.3% higher.

European markets moved higher this morning, with banks and natural-resources firms among the gainers. European carmakers such as Volkswagen and Peugeot also rose following a report showing that new-car sales in the eurozone rose in April for the first time since September 2011. Surprisingly, one of the top three gainers was Spain, where new-car sales rose by 10.8% in April compared with the same period last year.

Today's U.S. economic reports include the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index at 9:55 a.m. EDT; consensus forecasts indicate that the index may have risen to 77.5 in May from 76.4 in April. At 10 a.m. EDT, April's leading-indicators report is expected to show a 0.3% increase following the 0.1% fall seen in March.

Today's corporate earnings reports include Stage Stores (NYSE:SSI), which reported a 3.5% increase in quarterly sales to $379 million and an increase in comparable-store sales of 0.7%. However, the firm reported an adjusted loss of $0.02 per share for the quarter compared with an adjusted loss of $0.05 per share for the same period last year. Donaldson is also scheduled to report before the opening bell and is expected to report earnings of $0.48 on revenue of $658 million, according to a FactSet survey.

In other corporate news, Aruba Networks is down by 21% in premarket trading after it missed its third-quarter earnings forecast and reported a loss of $20.2 million for the quarter ended April 30. Although Aruba reported a 12% increase in revenue, it was sapped to an overall loss for the quarter by higher taxes and increased input costs and operating expenses. JC Penney is 1.3% lower in premarket trading after it reported a quarterly loss of $1.58 per share last night, more than double the $0.75 per-share loss reported for the same period last year. Dell's profit also came in below expectations yesterday: The PC maker reported first-quarter adjusted profit of $0.21 per share, down from $0.43 for the same period last year and missing consensus forecasts of $0.35 per share.

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