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Current Futures: Dow -16.00, S&P -0.80, NASDAQ +2.25

European markets advanced, extending the weekly rally, as investor optimism increased after some major U.S. companies surpassed market’s expectations.

The global equity markets rose almost 7% this week, having one of the best trading sessions of the last few months as most companies beat analysts’ expectations, including Goldman, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, IBM and Google. This lifted investors’ expectations for a re-bound in earnings over the next quarters, and helped the major stock indexes recover some important declines seen throughout the month of June. However, TheLFB-Forex.com Trade Team notes that, most of the gains seen this week came during the U.S. session, while the overnight session had a generally low momentum.

European markets rose as much as 1% on Friday, even though the market volume and momentum was light. However, the two major European indexes, the U.K. FTSE and the German Dax are both trading just below their last major resistance areas that now tests June’s highs; respectively the 4515.00 area for the FTSE and the 5170.00 area in the Dax. If the market does move higher, the two indexes will be trading at multi-month highs, and the flow of better than expected results will over the coming week increase the chances of the market being able to move higher.

The following companies will report earnings today: Bank of America, BB & T, Bemis Co., Citigroup, First Horizon National Corp, First Niagara Financial Group, General Electric, Mattel and Prosperity Bancshares

Overnight, the U.K. FTSE gained 24.78 points (0.57%) to 4,386.62, while t he German Dax added 48.07 points (0.97%) to 5,005.26

Crude oil for August delivery was recently trading at $62.50 per barrel, lower by $0.30. Crude oil managed to find a base, helped by the rally seen in the equity markets. 

Gold for August delivery was recently trading lower by $2.10 to $934.90. In order to make a sustained leg higher, gold will have to break above the $942.00 area and hold for a few sessions of consolidation. 

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