Dow: Euro Fears vs. Stimulus Hopes
Jun 18th 2012 7:41AM
Updated Jun 18th 2012 7:44AM
LONDON -- Markets are expected to open broadly flat this morning, with futures markets pricing in a 0.1% opening fall for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) . With little economic data due at home, eurozone news will continue to dominate the market today, although hopes of further stimulus operations by the Fed will also help sustain the market.
CNN's Fear & Greed Index has risen to reflect the improvement in sentiment, abandoning the Extreme Fear rating of recent weeks and moderating to give a reading of 31, which is classified as Fear. Readings above 50 indicate Greed.
Economic data that is due today relates to jobs and housing. The Home Builders' Index is expected to have fallen from 29 in May to 28 in June, while April's job opening figures may provide some clues about underlying trends in the employment market.
In Europe, most markets have managed a small gain this morning, but there has certainly not been any euphoria following the Greek election results. Although Greek looks set to have a pro-bailout coalition government built around its New Democracy and Pasok parties, there is a strong sense that the problems facing Greece, Spain, and Italy remain unchanged and unresolved.
In recognition of this, 10-year Spanish and Italian bond yields rose strongly this morning. At 7:00 a.m. EST, the yield on Spanish 10-year government bonds was 7.13%, firmly above the 7% threshold that triggered bailouts for Ireland, Portugal and Greece. This is the first time that Spanish bond yields have exceeded 7% since the creation of the euro. Italian bond yields also rose, settling just above 6%.
At 7:00 a.m. EST, most European markets were up slightly -- the FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) was up by 0.35%, the DAX by 0.68%, and the CAC 40 by 0.17%. However, investors in Spain have been cashing in last week's gains and withdrawing from the markets, leaving the IBEX 35 down by 1.5%. In Greece, the volatile FTSE/Athens 20 was up by 7.8%.
No major earnings announcements are due today, but companies that may be active in trading today could include Microsoft (NAS: MSFT) , which is expected to make an announcement about its tablet computer initiative today. Facebook shares may be active following their 6% spike on Friday, and both Bank of America (NYS: BAC) and Citigroup (NYS: C) have seen particularly high volumes of pre-market trading this morning, which could indicate further gains when markets open.
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At the time this article was published Roland Head does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. 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.
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