LONDON -- Stock index futures at 7 a.m. EDT indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) may open down by 0.29% this morning, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) may open 0.36% lower. CNN's Fear & Greed Index closed up at 81 on Friday, firmly into "extreme greed" territory.
European markets moved lower this morning, ahead of today's U.S. retail sales figures, which are due at 8:30 a.m. EDT and are expected to show that retail sales fell by 0.6% in April, following a 0.4% fall in March. The latest business inventories report is due at 10 a.m., and is expected to show that inventories rose by 0.2% in March, after rising 0.1% in February. New data from China's National Bureau of Statistics showed that industrial output rose by 9.3% in April and retail sales rose by 12.8%, compared to the same period last year. Although strong, the results were slightly below analysts' expectations, according to a Bloomberg survey.
At 7 a.m. EDT, the FTSE 100 was down 0.24%, with emerging markets bank Standard Chartered leading the fallers and sliding 4.2%, after it emerged that short-selling fund Muddy Waters, which is run by Carson Block, has built up a short position on the bank's debt. Block believes the quality of Standard Chartered's assets is worsening, according to a CNN report. Germany's DAX was 0.4% lower, the Spanish IBEX 35 was down 1.3%, and the Italian FTSE MIB was down 0.5%, despite this morning's successful 8 billion euro auction of Italian government bonds.
First-quarter earnings season is coming to a close in the U.S., but companies due to report results today include Renren, Take-Two Interactive Software, and Dillard's, all of which are expected to report after the close. Other stocks that may be actively traded today include Tesla Motors -- the company's share price is up by 126% so far this year and rose by 40% last week, so further volatility could be likely. Shares in Corning were 1.9% higher in pre-market trading after Barclays lifted its recommendation on the shares to overweight, while Yum! Brands may slip after the chain -- which owns KFC and Pizza Hut -- reported disappointing April sales in China.
Finally, let's not forget that the Dow's daily movements can add up to some serious long-term gains. Indeed, Warren Buffett recently wrote: "The Dow advanced from 66 to 11,497 in the 20th century, a staggering 17,320% increase that materialized despite four costly wars, a Great Depression and many recessions."
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Roland Head does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool recommends Corning, Take-Two Interactive, and Tesla Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Corning, Dillard's, Standard Chartered, and Tesla Motors. 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.