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Investors Focused On Fed Ahead Of Wednesday Session


On this 24th anniversary of CNBC's 1989 debut, stock futures are pointing to a modestly lower open, following the S&P 500's second best gain of 2013. Earnings season and plenty of Fed-related fodder are likely to be the market's key drivers in today's trading.


With no government economic data ahead today, investors will be watching for the Fed's latest Beige Book – the region by region assessment of the nation's economy – at 2 p.m. ET. Two Fed speakers are making public appearances as well today: St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, who will both appear at a Ford Foundation event in New York.


Weekly reports due out today include the Mortgage Bankers Association's report on mortgage applications at 7 a.m. ET, while the Energy Department will issue its regular Wednesday look at oil and gasoline inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET.


It's a busy morning for corporate earnings, with Dow component Bank of America (BAC) leading the way. We'll also get quarterly reports from Abbott Labs (ABT), Bank of NY Mellon (BK), Quest Diagnostics (DGX), Mattel (MAT), PNC Bank (PNC), St. Jude Medical (STJ), and Textron (TXT).


After today's closing bell, Dow component American Express (AXP) is out with quarterly numbers, along with eBay (EBAY) and SanDisk (SNDK).


Yahoo (YHOO) is among our stocks to watch, as it reports first quarter profit of $0.38 per share, excluding certain items, 14 cents above estimates. However, its first quarter revenues and current quarter revenue projections are below Street estimates, as its display ad business sees declining sales for a second consecutive quarter.


Intel (INTC) reported first quarter profit of $0.40 per share, one cent below estimates, with revenues essentially in line. The chipmaker also predict a current quarter revenue decline of as much as eight percent due to a drop in PC sales.


CSX (CSX) reported quarterly profit of $0.45 per share, five cents above estimates. The rail operator also increased its dividend by 7 percent to $0.15 per share, and announced a $1 billion share buyback. CSX was helped by higher shipment volumes and lower expenses.


Amgen (AMGN) will pay $24.9 million dollars to settle Justice Department allegations that it violated the False Claims Act. The biotech giant had been accused of paying kickbacks to pharmacy providers to switch patients to its Aranesp treatment.


Discover Financial (DFS) has increased its quarterly dividend by 43 percent to $0.20 per share, payable on May 23 to shareholders of record as of May 9.


BHP Billiton (BHP) is reporting third quarter iron ore output of 40.2 million tons, less than consensus estimates of 42.3 million tons.


Cirrus Logic (CRUS) is giving a preliminary estimate of fiscal fourth quarter revenue of $206.9 million, below Street estimates of $210 million. The chipmaker expects profit margins to be lower than forecasts, and that it will record a significant inventory reserve charge.


Toyota Motor (TM) has surpassed the five million vehicle sales mark for its hybrid models. It started selling the Prius in 1997, with hybrid vehicles now accounting for 14 percent of Toyota's global sales.


Procter & Gamble (PG) is reportedly increasing the time it will take to pay suppliers by as much as 30 days, according to the Wall Street Journal.


Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) received a favorable court ruling from an Illinois jury, in a product liability case involving hip implants made by J&J's DePuy orthopedics unit.


Apple (AAPL) could see a 20-30 percent quarter-to-quarter drop in iPad mini shipments during the current quarter, according to DigiTimes. The story points to consumers waiting for a new version of the device to hit the market.