US markets to open mildly higher

It has been a solid if somewhat unspectacular start to the day from the European indices.

The poor pre-market HSBC Chinese manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) figures have been quickly absorbed by the markets, aided by yesterday’s statement that a low tolerance for growth would be 7%. The improving European PMI manufacturing figures, on the other hand, have improved the markets outlook for Europe.

Two stocks doing their best to raise the tempo in the FTSE today are easyJet and ARM Holdings.easyJet has once again seen its share price fly, and this morning trading was at one point up by almost 8.5%. The reason for this is their impressive third-quarter figures, up by 10.5%, which have enabled the company to increase its full year pre-tax target from £433 million up to a range of £450-480 million. This blue sky projection has left traders even more impressed with the company’s excellent performance over 2013.

In an effort not to be outdone, Arm Holdings has seen its second-quarter earnings increase by 24% and has also seen an order backlog of 10%. Although the company has not changed its full-year targets, it does expect analysts to re-assess them.

A raft of US companies are reporting today: Visa, Ford, PepsiCo, Caterpillar and Facebook are amongst them.

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