July is in the history books, and it was a good one.
The Dow gained 128 points last month, and the S&P 500 gained 17 points.
On this first day of August, investors will be busy. The Federal Reserve will make a decision on interest rates and monetary policy at 2:15pm ET. Ahead of that, investors get manufacturing data from ISM, private employment data from ADP, and July auto sales trickle in throughout the day.
U.S. futures are indicating a higher open, with the Dow poised to gain 50 points at the start.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is revamping its Hotmail email service into Outlook.com. If you have a Hotmail account, you probably saw the changes yesterday when the company's preview period began. Perhaps the most visible change is the simplicity. Outlook.com can display 30% more messages, it can isolate newsletters and other junk email better, post recent status updates from friends on social media sites, and boasts an address book that unifies contact information for people on Gmail, LinkedIn, and other sites.
There will also be fewer ads. Microsoft is making the changes to show the texting and tweeting world that email is not obsolete. Microsoft first launched Hotmail back in 1996.
Twitter, meanwhile, is following the dollar sign. Users who put a dollar sign in front of a stock symbol (ex: $AAPL) and then click on the symbol, can populate all tweets mentioning the same company. It works similar to the hash tag.