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European markets lack a solid direction so far, as the major European indexes are trading slightly below important price points.

The S&P futures moved higher throughout the Asian session, but only moved in a 3-point range during the European session, as the futures markets topped at the 953.00 area. In Europe, the German Dax is trading below the 5175.00 area, the highest point touched over the last 9 months, while the U.K. FTSE is trading near the 4515.00 resistance area, which has held the index since January.

Additionally, both indexes topped near these support areas in the previous cash session, on Wednesday, something that puts even greater weight on the market to move higher.

Earlier in the day, during the Asian session, the major regional indexes traded mixed throughout the first part of the session, but surged higher during the second part. Helped by these gains, the global markets continued to move higher for the eighth consecutive day, the longest rally since 2003, a time when the credit and the housing bubbles were building up.

Ahead, an impressive number of companies are expected to report today, something that might be reflected in the market’s valuation. Moreover, many of these companies have been in the spotlight recently, something that may continue to put further pressure on the market.

The following companies are expected to report on Thursday: 3M (NYSE:MMM), ABB (NYSE:ABB), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), American Express Company (NYSE:AXP), AT&T (NYSE:T), Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM), Capital One Financial (NYSE:COF), Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG), CME Group (NASDAQ:CME), CIT Group (NYSE:CIT), Cooper Industries (CBE), Credit Suisse Group (NYSE:CS), Fifth Third Bancorp (OTC:FTIB), Ford Motor (NYSE:F), Interactive Brokers Group (NASDAQ:IBKR), McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM), Potash Corporation (NYSE:POT), The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT), Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) and Xerox (NYSE:XRX).

The global markets may continue to move side-ways until these earnings reports are out of the way, along with the economic reports scheduled at 8:30am and 10:00am EDT.

Overnight, the U.K. FTSE slipped 8.89 points (0.20%) to 4,484.84, while t he German Dax gained 0.14 points (0.01%) to 5,121.70.

Crude oil for August delivery was recently trading at $65.30 per barrel, up by $0.20.

Gold for August delivery was recently trading higher by $3.80 to $954.60.

Source: European Markets Mixed Ahead of Important Earnings Reports