This morning's economic data includes the key weekly jobless claims reading at 8:30 a.m. EDT, which is expected to have fallen from 382,000 to 375,000. This will be followed by the Markit Flash PMI for September at 9 a.m. EDT and leading indicators at 10 a.m. EDT, along with the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index, which is expected to rise to -4 from last month's reading of -7.1.
The latest Chinese manufacturing PMI may also disappoint investors. The reading for September came in at 47.8 -- only a marginal improvement from August's 47.6 and indicating continued contraction.
Company earnings reports are likely to be under the spotlight, with Oracle, ConAgra Foods, CarMax, and Rite Aid due to report today. Norfolk Southern could also be in the spotlight after it warned analysts that profits will be lower than expected this quarter. Profits are expected to be between $1.18 and $1.25 per share, according to the company, rather than the $1.63 forecast by analysts in a Bloomberg survey.
In Europe, markets fell this morning in the wake of big overnight falls in the price of crude oil and a disappointing eurozone PMI, which fell from 46.3 in August to 45.9 in September. Brent crude for November delivery was trading at just under $108 at 7 a.m. EDT, with WTI crude at $91.80 per barrel. At 7 a.m. EDT, the DAX was down by 0.5%, the CAC was down by 0.6%, the FTSE MIB was down by 1.3%, and the IBEX was down by 1.1%.
In London, the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES:^FTSE) was 0.6% lower at 7 a.m. EDT, with the big miners once again reversing recent gains on fears of a Chinese slowdown. At the other end of the scale, Imperial Tobacco made strong gains after a positive trading update, rising 1.4% by 7 a.m. EDT.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett rarely invests outside the U.S., but he did recently invest $1 billion in another well-known British blue-chip brand, expanding his stake in the company to more than 5%. The business concerned is a famous British name with global expansion potential -- and you can discover the identity of the company and the price he paid in this special exclusive report. Best of all, the report is free, so download it today while it's still available.
Are you looking to profit from this uncertain economy? "10 Steps To Making A Million In The Market" is The Motley Fool's latest report. We urge you to read it today -- your wealth could be transformed. Click here now to request your free, no-obligation copy. The Motley Fool is helping Britain invest. Better.
Further investment opportunities:
Roland Head has no shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Oracle. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.