LONDON -- Markets look likely to open lower this morning, with futures markets at 7 a.m. EDT suggesting a 0.81% opening fall for the Dow Jones Industrial Average
Economic news today is likely to be dominated by the third-quarter GDP figures, which are due at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Analysts are forecasting an increase of 1.7%, up from 1.3% in the second quarter.
After Apple's earnings disappointed investors after the bell last night, the company's shares could be on the move when markets open this morning. Companies due to report quarterly results today include Comcast, Goodyear Tyre and Rubber, KKR, Merck, and Moody's. This morning, Coventry Health Care reported third-quarter revenue of $3.5 billion, up by 16% from the same quarter last year. Weyerhaeuser also reported an increase in revenue compared to the same period last year but said that net earnings fell from $157 million last year to $117 million for the third quarter of 2012.
Finally, health care insurer Aetna reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.55, exceeding the consensus analysts forecast of $1.33 per share. The company reported a 2% rise in third-quarter earnings, which it said was partly due to low health-care utilization, a common historical trend following recessions. Aetna CFO Joe Zubretsky said in an interview that health care use had been "incredibly low" over the last two years but that the company would "assume that utilization will continue to come back."
Markets drifted lower this morning as markets waited to see whether U.S. GDP would disappoint. In Spain, unemployment reached 25%, but in Germany, the GfK Consumer Confidence Index rose to 6.3 in October -- the highest level since October 2007. At 7 a.m. EDT, the DAX was down 0.6%, the CAC was down 0.6%, the FTSE MIB was down 1%, and the IBEX was down 1.3%.
In London, the FTSE 100
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett does not often invest outside the U.S., but he did recently invest $1 billion in an FTSE 100 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: