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US Stocks Poised For Higher Open On Cyprus Bailout Deal

Monday, 25 Mar 2013 | 6:02 AM ET


U.S. markets are likely to open higher this morning, after Cyprus reached a bailout deal with its lenders that's received the approval of European Union finance ministers. That follows a volatile week in which the major averages finished near breakeven as investors followed the ongoing developments out of Cyprus.


It will be a busy week for economic numbers, but none of those reports are out today. Ironically, there are several reports scheduled for Friday - when the markets will be closed for Good Friday.


Today's schedule does include a Treasury sale of $35 billion 2-year notes, with the results of that sale available shortly after 1 p.m. ET.


For-profit education provider Apollo Group (APOL) and retailer Dollar General (DG) are among the companies set to report quarterly earnings this morning, while restaurant chain operator Sonic (SONC) will be out with its numbers after today's closing bell.


Smithfield Foods (SFD) is among our stocks to watch today, with the nation's largest hog producer reportedly hiring Goldman Sachs to weigh strategic options. Both Smithfield and Goldman Sachs declined comment on that Reuters report.


Dell (DELL) is currently evaluating takeover proposals from Blackstone Group (BX) and investor Carl Icahn, deciding whether either one is superior to the current $24.4 billion deal led by CEO Michael Dell. According to Reuters, Icahn's offer is $15 per share for 58% of Dell, while Blackstone is offering more than $14.25 per share. The current deal is worth $13.65 per share.


Microsoft (MSFT) received a favorable ruling from an International Trade Commission judge, who says it did not violate a patent held by Google (GOOG) subsidiary Motorola Mobility in its Xbox video game system. The full commission will make a final ruling on the case in July.


Boeing (BA) will lay off 800 machinists by the end of this year, according to CNBC's Phil LeBeau. The total number of positions eliminated will be between 2,000 and 2,300 but the majority will be done through attrition. Boeing says the reductions adjust its workforce needs on its newest jets, the 787 Dreamliner and the 747-8 jumbo jet.


Apple (AAPL) was forced to take down its "iForgot" password system over the weekend to deal with a security flaw. The flaw would allow the resetting of an Apple ID and iCloud password with only a person's email and birthdate.


AstraZeneca (AZN) has settled a patent dispute involving its best-selling cholesterol drug Crestor. The settlement will allow generic drugmakers to begin selling a generic version in 2016.


Vodafone (VOD) is examining the possibility of selling its 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless, according to London's Sunday Times. Such a deal could net Vodafone $135 billion dollars.