European markets moved cautiously higher this morning. In the U.K., consumer price inflation rose to 2.7% in May from 2.4% in April, meaning that inflation remains above the Bank of England's 2% target. In Germany, cable TV operator Kabel Deutschland hit a record €85 per share following news that Liberty Global had submitted a bid for the firm, which recently received an informal offer from Vodafone. As of 7:15 a.m. EDT, the FTSE 100 is up 0.76%, the German DAX is flat, and Spain's IBEX 35 is up 0.64% despite news that bad debt levels in Spanish banks rose to 10.9% in April from 10.5% in March.
In the U.S., investors are likely to be cautious ahead of tomorrow's Fed meeting. At 8:30 a.m. EDT, May's Consumer Price Index report will be published. Consensus forecasts suggest that inflation rose by 0.2% in May after falling 0.4% in April. Low inflation is seen to be supportive of further Fed easing, so markets may react positively if inflation is at or below expectations. Also due at 8:30 a.m. EDT are May's housing-starts and building-permits reports. Expectations call for a rise in housing starts to 953,000 last month from 853,000 in April. The number of new building permits issued in May is expected to be 973,000, down 2.7% from April.
In corporate news, few companies are scheduled to report earnings today. FactSet Research Systems is expected to report third-quarter earnings of $1.15 per share before this morning's opening bell. After the close tonight, Adobe Systems is expected to report second-quarter earnings of $0.34 per share, while La-Z-Boy is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings of $0.27 per share. Other stocks that could be actively traded this morning include Sony, which is 2.8% higher in premarket trading following reports that Daniel Loeb's hedge fund, Third Point, has increased its stake in the firm. Netflix may also be actively traded after closing up 7% yesterday following news of its new deal with DreamWorks Animation.
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Roland Head owns shares in Vodafone but does not own shares in any of the other companies mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.