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US stocks head for losing August


Barring a major rally today, the Dow and the S&P 500 will post their biggest monthly losses since May 2012, although the Nasdaq still has a chance to post a positive month. The major averages did post modest gains Thursday as it appeared any military action in Syria would be delayed.


The week and month will end with three fresh economic reports, beginning with the government's July look at personal income and consumer spending for July. Consensus forecasts call for a 0.1 percent rise in income and a 0.3 percent increase in spending for last month, compared to gains of 0.3 percent for income and 0.5 percent for spending in June. Those numbers will be out at 8:30 a.m. ET.


The Chicago Purchasing Manager's Index, out at 9:45 a.m. ET, is expected to come in at 53.5 for August, compared to July's 52.3. And at 9:55 a.m. ET, the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index is expected to come in at 80.2 for August. The index had been at 80.0 for the August preliminary reading, and at 85.1 at the end of July.


St. Louis Fed President James Bullard has a public appearance at 9 a.m. ET in Memphis, although that event is closed to the media.


Retailer Big Lots (BIG) is one of the few companies set to release quarterly earnings this morning, while there are no reports due for release after today's closing bell.


Salesforce.com (CRM) is among our stocks to watch today, posting second quarter profit of nine cents per share, excluding certain items, two cents above estimates. Revenue was well above forecasts, and the cloud software maker projected current quarter revenue and profit above Street estimates on strong demand from its corporate customers. It also raised its full-year forecast.


General Electric (GE) is planning to spin off the consumer lending unit of its GE Capital division, according to the Wall Street Journal. GE would reportedly accomplish this through an initial public offering.


Pacific Sunwear (PSUN) earned two cents per share, excluding certain items, for the second quarter, compared to estimates of a breakeven quarter. However, the teen retailer is also projecting an unexpected current quarter loss. The company's sales have been slumping and it's also been hit by the impact of store closure expenses.


Krispy Kreme (KKD) earned 14 cents per share for the second quarter, excluding certain items, two cents below estimates, though revenue was slightly higher than consensus. The doughnut chain's results were hurt by increased expenses despite rising sales.


Investor Carl Icahn has raised his stake in software maker Nuance Communications (NUAN) to 16.9 percent from just over 16 percent. Icahn is also considering putting up a slate of nominees for the company's board.


Splunk (SPLK) lost one cent per share for the second quarter, excluding certain items, smaller than the three cent loss analysts were projecting. The maker of data analytics software also raised its sales forecast for the year on expectations of more enterprise deals during the second half of the year.


Omnivision (OVTI) earned 55 cents per share for its first quarter, beating estimates by 12 cents, though its revenue fell slightly short of Street forecasts. The chip maker's margins have been pressured by manufacturing costs even as its sales have risen.


Sanofi (SNY) could see L'Oreal disappear as a stakeholder in the drug company. L'Oreal CEO Jean-Paul Agon said the company may sell its Sanofi stake to help fund acquisitions.


Dial Global (DIAL) is close to being acquired by radio broadcaster Cumulus Media (CMLS), according to Dow Jones. The price for the program syndicator is said to be $260 million.