We are looking at a slightly negative open with futures trading lower this morning. Around the globe, the Asian markets have posted impressive gains but the major European exchanges are experiencing a decline. As a result, Dow futures are currently down 39, or 0.4%, to 9,276. The S&P 500 futures are off by 5, or 0.3% to 1,001, while the Nasdaq futures are down 7, or 0.5%, to 1,612.
The Fed will be meeting on Tuesday and Wedneday but don’t expect any sweeping changes to interest rates. Bernanke will keep key interest rates steady, but concerns about inflation are starting to grow, which could eventually force the Fed to raise rates. Besides that, we will get a number of earning announcements from some of the biggest retailers this week.
Priceline.com (PCLN, $131.32) kicked things off this morning. The company said the total value of its bookings rose nearly 13% to $2.4 billion. Priceline said that travel demand for the summer peak season has been strong given the super deals that are floating out there. Shares are up $6 in pre-market trading.
McDonald’s (MCD, $55.20) should get a little pop at the open after saying global sales were up 4.3% in July. Specifically, U.S. sales were up 2.6%, Europe – 7.2%, Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa sales came in at a 2.1% increase.
Other earning announcements to watch for this week include Wal-Mart Stores (WMT, $49.29) and Macy’s (M, $15.99).