U.S. stocks are continuing their trend of getting months off to a positive start – with one month to go, the major averages have chalked up gains in all but two first trading days of the month this year. Stock index futures are pointing to continued gains at the open this morning.
This morning's government economic reports include more "catch-up" reports following the end of October's government shutdown. At 10 a.m. ET, we'll get reports on factory orders for both August and September, with economists expecting to see a 0.4 percent gain for August and a 1.8 percent increase for September. Investors are already looking ahead to Friday morning, however, when the postponed October employment report will be released.
The pace of earnings reports slows this week, though it will still be a busy one, with about 80 S&P 500 companies set to report. Cereal maker Kellogg (K) is among those issuing quarterly numbers this morning, along with CME Group (CME), Sysco (SYY), and Vulcan Materials (VMC). After-the-bell reports today include Anadarko Petroleum (APC), CF Industries (CF), Dun & Bradstreet (DNB), Hertz Global (HTZ), Leapfrog (LF), Marathon Oil (MRO), Pioneer Natural (PXD), Tenet Healthcare (THC), and Unum Group (UNM).
BlackBerry (BBRY) leads our list of stocks to watch, on Dow Jones reports that Qualcomm (QCOM) will join private equity firm Cerberus and BlackBerry's co-founders for a possible bid for the smartphone maker. Meanwhile, Reuters is reporting that Fairfax Financial, BlackBerry's largest shareholder, is having trouble raising financing for its own $4.7 billion bid.
Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) reported third quarter profit of $2228 per share, below estimates of $2402, although revenue came in above consensus. Weakness in the company's insurance unit held back gains, though profits were up 29 percent from a year earlier.
HSBC (HBC) posted a 23 percent increase in profit for the first nine months of this year, compared to a year earlier. HSBC is Europe's biggest bank by market value.
Weyerhaeuser (WY) will sell its homebuilding division to Tri Pointe Homes (TPH) in a deal valued at $2.7 billion dollars.
Lululemon Athletica (LULU) is being hit with a new round of customer complaints over the quality of some of its pants, according to Reuters. Lululemon was forced to recall overly sheer yoga pants last spring in a widely publicized incident.
Time Warner Cable (TWC) is once again the subject of takeover chatter, with Reuters reporting that Charter Communications (CHTR) is weighing a bid for the cable operator before the end of the year.
U.S. Airways Group (LCC) and American Airlines parent AMR (AAMRQ) need to agree to a wide ranging package of divestitures to win approval of their proposed merger, according to Reuters. The two sides have been talking about ways to settle their dispute, with a trial set to begin in a few weeks.