U.S. stocks come off two days of very little movement, as investors ponder what the Fed may do next and just how to interpret both positive and negative economic news. The major averages have barely budged the past two sessions, with the Dow down a net 11 points, the S&P 500 down about three points, and the Nasdaq up by less than a point.
The only government economic report on the agenda today comes from the Treasury, with the October federal budget statement, due out at 2 p.m. ET. The Treasury will also sell $24 billion in 10-year notes, with the results of that sale available shortly after 1 p.m. ET.
Weekly reports out today include the usual Wednesday look at mortgage applications from the Mortgage Bankers Association at 7 a.m. ET, and the Energy Department's report on oil and gasoline inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET.
Retailer Macy's (M) leads a short list of corporate earnings reports this morning, while Dow component Cisco Systems (CSCO) and NetApp (NTAP) are set to release quarterly numbers after today's closing bell.
Newly public restaurant chain Potbelly (PBPB) is among our stocks to watch this morning, reporting third quarter profit of 15 cents per share, excluding certain items, beating estimates by six cents. Revenue was in line with Street estimates, and same-store sales at company-owned restaurants rose 2.5 percent, above the Street Account estimate of 1.3 percent.
Mondelez International (MDLZ) will receive $2.23 billion in damages in a legal dispute with Starbucks (SBUX), which will also have to pay an additional $527 million in interest and attorney fees. The case stems from a March 2011 move by Starbucks to take its packaged coffee business back from Mondelez, then known as Kraft Foods.
MBIA (MBI) reported third quarter profit of 67 cents per share, compared to expectations of a quarterly loss, and the bond insurer's revenue also exceeded estimate. The gains came primarily from derivatives, while net written premiums declined.
Yum Brands(YUM) reports same-store sales in the key China market fell five percent in October, a smaller drop than analysts had expected.
Office Depot (ODP) has named Roland Smith as its chairman and chief executive officer,effective immediately. Smith is known as a turnaround expert, and his appointment comes a week after Office Depot completed its deal to acquire rival OfficeMax.
Johnson& Johnson (JNJ) has reportedly reached a more than $4 billion settlement oflawsuits involving defective hip implants, according to Bloomberg. Johnson & Johnson declined to comment on the report when reached by CNBC.
Baidu(BIDU) is being sued by a group of China internet firms including Tencent Holdings and Sohu.com (SOHU), for alleged copyright violations.
Netflix (NFLX) unveils a new look today for subscribers who watch on television sets through devices like Roku, Sony PlayStation, and Blu-ray players.
Extended Stay America (STAY) will begin trading today on the New York Stock Exchange,after its initial public offering was priced at $20 per share, the midpoint of its expected range.