LONDON -- The S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) are both expected to open higher this morning as markets are buoyed by comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who said this morning that he will do whatever is necessary to preserve the euro.

Markets may also rise if today's company earnings meet expectations. Big names due to report before markets open this morning include Dow Chemical, Sprint Nextel, Colgate-Palmolive, Kimberly Clark, 3M, and ExxonMobil. Yet today's highlight, at least in terms of headlines, will probably be Facebook's first quarterly earnings as a publicly traded company, which are due after the bell tonight.

Economic data due for release today includes weekly initial jobless claims, which are expected to fall slightly, and June's durable-goods orders and pending home sales, both of which are expected to show smaller increases than in May. The latest U.S. Energy Information Administration natural-gas inventory figures are due at 10:30 a.m. EDT, followed by the Kansas City Fed manufacturing survey at 11 a.m. EDT.

In Europe, markets were having a lackluster morning until ECB President Mario Draghi told his audience at a speech in London that "the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro," as long as it remained within its mandate. Significantly, Draghi went on to state that the ECB's mandate could include managing government borrowing costs if these interfere with ECB monetary policy. Spanish 10-year bond yields fell substantially immediately after, dropping down to 7.1% -- still high, but much lower than in recent days.

Markets rose across Europe following Draghi's speech: At 7 a.m. EDT, the DAX was up by 0.3%, the CAC by 1.7%, the IBEX by 1.4%, and the FTSE MIB by 3%.

In London, the FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) also rose and was up by 0.5% at 7 a.m. EDT, overcoming an early drop caused by its largest member, Royal Dutch Shell. Shell's share price fell more than 3% this morning, following a fall in quarterly earnings from $8 billion to $6 billion in the second quarter as the company's profits tracked weaker oil and gas prices.

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