Fears over the health of the global economy rattled Wall Street yesterday with the DOW clocking up a 300 point loss during the session, although managing to close well above the intra day lows. News of trade talks having been cancelled with China have done little to improve sentiment, whilst yesterday's disappointing housing stats are also a cause for concern. Johnson & Johnson reported Q4 earnings yesterday and despite coming in at the top end of expectations, the company noted that sales are expected to slow in the year ahead. With the likes of Proctor and Gamble, Ford and United Rentals all due to report numbers today, again there's the potential to get fresh insight as to the health of the underlying economy and this could again provide direction for stocks.

Fundam economy and this could again provide direction for stocks. entals are otherwise relatively thin on the ground today, although the low-level Richmond Fed manufacturing index for January could provide some cheer as this is tipped to show a meaningful month-on-month improvement. Looking slightly further ahead, there's a vote scheduled on Capitol Hill tomorrow which could – at least temporarily – end the US government shut down. Assuming this can be delivered then some kind of relief rally for stocks may well be seen as a result.

Ahead of the open we're calling the DOW up 56 at 24460 and the S&P up 3 at 2636

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