Modest though the gains may be, Wall Street is coming off its second straight up day, with the Dow now having gone nearly four months into the year without a 3-day losing streak. That hasn't happened since 1930, though investors are facing a number of key economic reports as well as an extremely busy week of earnings.
Today's data focuses on housing, with the government set to issue new data on home prices (9 a.m. ET) and new home sales (10 a.m. ET). Home prices are seen registering a 0.7 percent rise in February from January, while new home sales are expected to rise 0.7 percent for March to an annual rate of 414,000 units.
The Treasury will sell $35 billion in 2-year notes today, with the results of that sale available shortly after 1 p.m. ET.
Dow components Travelers (TRV), United Technologies (UTX), and DuPont (DD) are at the top of this morning's earnings releases. Coach (COH), Discover Financial (DFS), Gannett (GCI), Lockheed Martin (LMT), Reynolds American (RAI), RadioShack (RSH), and Xerox (XRX), among others. Apple (AAPL) leads today's after-the-bell list, joined by Dow component AT&T (T), Yum Brands (YUM), Amgen (AMGN), Juniper Networks (JNPR), and Norfolk Southern (NSC).
Netflix (NFLX) leads this morning's list of stocks to watch, reporting first quarter profit of $0.31 per share. That was well above estimates of $0.19, and its addition of two million streaming subscribers in the U.S. was also encouraging to investors.
Texas Instruments (TXN) earned $0.32 per share for the third quarter, two cents above estimates, while revenue was also slightly above consensus. It also sees growth for the current quarter as demand for its semiconductors improves.
Zions Bancorp (ZION) reported first quarter profit of $0.48 per share, nine cents above estimates, though revenue was shy of consensus. The bank's bottom line was helped by an improvement in credit quality.
Noble Energy (NBL) has approved a two-for-one stock split as well as a 12 percent increase in its quarterly dividend. The payout will be increased by three cents to $0.28 per share.
Wal-Mart (WMT) chief executive Mike Duke earned $20.7 million in 2012, according to a new SEC filing. That was up from $18.1 million a year earlier.
Ameriprise Financial (AMP) earned $1.59 per share for its first quarter, beating consensus estimates by two cents. The financial services provider also raised its quarterly dividend by 16 percent to $0.52 per share.
Apple (AAPL) received a favorable ruling from an International Trade Commission panel, which said Apple did not violate a patent held by Google's (GOOG) Motorola Mobility unit.