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Investors focused on possible Syria strike


A possible U.S. military strike in Syria has U.S. and world markets on edge, and the effect is widespread. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both suffered their biggest one-day drops in more than two months in Tuesday trading, while the Dow closed at its lowest since June 25, the S&P 500 since July 3. Crude has touched its highest in more than two years this morning.


Though focused on Syria, investors will have several economic reports to consider, including July pending home sales at 10 a.m. ET. Consensus forecasts call for a 0.9 percent drop in the number of sales contracts signed but not closed, following a 0.4 percent drop in June.


Weekly reports out today include the latest look at mortgage applications from the Mortgage Bankers Association at 7 a.m. ET, and the Energy Department's assessment of oil and gasoline inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET.


The Treasury will sell $35 billion in 5-year notes today, with the results of that sale available shortly after 1 p.m. ET.


Miner Joy Global (JOY) and spirits producer Brown-Forman (BFB) are among the earnings reports due out this morning, along with retailers Zale (ZLC), Chico's FAS (CHS), and Express (EXPR). Retailers Williams-Sonoma (WSM) and Guess (GES) are among the handful of companies set to report after today's closing bell.


TiVo (TIVO) is among our stocks to watch this morning, with the digital video recorder company reporting a second quarter loss of 9 cents per share, one cent smaller than the Street had been expecting. Overall, Tivo reported a profit due to gains from litigation.


New York Times (NYT) is on our watch list this morning following yesterday's outage for the newspaper's web site. A group calling itself the "Syrian Electronic Army" claimed responsibility for the problem.


Apple (AAPL) will see a court ruling in the case involving e-book sales next week, according to Judge Denise Cote. She plans to issue a ruling on remedies next week, following the court's finding that Apple conspired with publishers over e-book prices in 2010.


Avago Technologies (AVGO) earned 67 cents per share, excluding certain items, for its fiscal third quarter, five cents above estimates, with revenue also beating consensus. Avago, whose chips are used in Apple products, is also predicting better than expected revenue for the current quarter.


Las Vegas Sands (LVS) will pay $47.4 million to end a federal probe into the casino operator's anti-money laundering practices. The case centered around suspicious deposits by a high-rolling gambler, with the government claiming the company had failed to alert authorities about those deposits.


JPMorgan Chase (JPM) may have to pay at least $6 billion to settle lawsuits over bonds backed by subprime mortgages, according to Reuters. The FHFA is reportedly seeking that amount after suing the bank over those bonds two years ago.


The government has requested a trial date of March 3, 2014, in its case opposing the merger of U.S. Airways (LCC) and American Airlines parent AMR (AMR). The airlines want a November trial date, with American calling the request for a March date "entirely unreasonable" since the Department of Justice has been investigating the proposed deal for more than 16 months.


Groupon (GRPN) is planning to put together a North American warehouse network for its physical goods business, according to the Wall Street Journal. That would put it in more direction competition with online retail giant Amazon.com (AMZN).