Today's biggest question on Wall Street might not be about where the major averages will go, but rather if all its systems will function. A technical malfunction caused a three hour shutdown of Nasdaq's trading systems Thursday, although all was restored to normal by day's end. With all that, the major averages did have their first across-the-board gains in seven sessions, with both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 going positive for the week with yesterday's gains.
The government's July report on new home sales is today's lone economic report at 10 a.m. ET, with economists looking for a 1.4 percent drop to an annual rate of 490,000 units. In June, existing home sales had risen 8.3 percent.
CNBC's Steve Liesman will provide a number of market-moving interviews from the Fed Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming this morning. He'll be speaking to Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart at 7:30 a.m. ET, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard at 8:15 a.m., and San Francisco Fed President John Williams at 9:05 a.m. ET.
A relatively light earnings calendar this morning will nonetheless give us two more reports from retailers, with Ann Inc. (ANN) and Foot Locker (FL) reporting before the opening bell.
Nasdaq OMX (NDAQ) leads our list of stocks to watch this morning, after falling yesterday in the wake of the Nasdaq outage. Shares did finish Thursday trading off their lowest levels of the session.
Pandora (P) reported second quarter profit of four cents per share, doubling Street estimates, with revenue also above consensus. However, the internet radio service's current quarter outlook falls short of analyst estimates, as expenses to buy music rights and expand its sales personnel rise.
Gap (GPS) earned 64 cents per share for the second quarter, matching estimates, while raising its full year outlook and increasing its quarterly dividend to 20 cents per share from 15 cents. The retailer's results are being driven by rising sales at its Gap and Old Navy chains.
Aeropostale (ARO) lost 34 cents per share for the second quarter, wider than the 24 cent loss forecast by analysts. The apparel retailer also sees a current quarter loss, and is upping its estimate of how many stores it will close this year.
Goldman Sachs (GS), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS), and Wells Fargo (WFC) are among big banks on today's watch list, after Moody's puts credit ratings of four big U.S. banks on review for possible downgrade. Moody's pointed to the reduced chances of government help if another crisis hits.
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) remains under scrutiny after tumbling in Thursday's trading, with a Wall Street Journal column calling for the removal of CEO Meg Whitman.
Brown-Forman (BFb) will build a new distillery at its Tennessee factory, as demand for its Jack Daniel's whiskey grows.
U.S. Airways (LCC) and American Airlines parent AMR (AAMRQ) want a November 12 trial to fight a Justice Department challenge to their planned merger. That would provide DOJ with 90 days of preparation, compared to the government's request for 180 days.
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) is among private equity firms expected to bid for Panasonic's health care business, according to Reuters, in a deal that could be worth as much as $1.5 billion. Bain Capital is also said to be a participant as part of a consortium.
Autodesk (ADSK) earned 45 cents per share for the second quarter, three cents above estimates, but investors are concentrating on the software maker's current quarter forecast. Autodesk sees both earnings per share and revenue well below Street estimates, as demand falls for its computer-aided design software used in construction, manufacturing, and engineering.