LONDON -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average
Economic data due out today includes the Case-Schiller Home Price Index for March, which is expected to show a 0.3% increase, a slight improvement on February's 0.2% rise. Also due is the Consumer Confidence Index for May, which may show a slight improvement on April's reading. Positive results on both of these indexes could help boost traders' confidence, but a lack of major economic data or company earnings may mean that attention focuses once more on Europe and Asia.
In Asia, hopes that the Chinese government will launch a package of stimulus measures remains strong, and it helped buoy Asian and London markets today, with the main Asian markets closing up slightly. The FTSE 100
At an auction of Italian six-month bonds this morning, yields rose to 2.104%, up from 1.772% in April, signalling that investors remain wary over eurozone problems.
U.K. companies on the move included mega-miners BHP Billiton
Elsewhere in Europe, ArcelorMittal rose by 2% following a broker upgrade, while beleaguered Spanish bank Bankia SA continued yesterday's decline, falling a further 13%. The markets are awaiting news on how Bankia's latest rescue package is going to be arranged; the bank revealed on Friday that it needs a further injection of 19 billion euros in new capital to make good its bad debts.
Meanwhile, Warren Buffett-backed Chinese electric automaker BYD is in the news following a controversial crash involving one of its electric cars. Billionaire investor Buffett rarely invests outside the U.S., but one deal that did catch the market's attention recently was his $1 billion purchase of shares in a U.K. blue-chip brand with global expansion potential. You can discover the identity of the company and the price he paid in this special free report.
There are no major earnings releases due today, but smaller companies due to report include Sanderson Farms
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