Wall Street on best streak in two months
With worries over a Syria military strike receding, U.S. stocks have put together their best positive streak in two months. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq have been higher for six straight sessions, the longest winning stretch since an eight-session streak that ended July 15. U.S. stock index futures are not giving strong indications in either direction at the moment, as we wait for market reaction to President Obama's late evening speech on Syria.
Just a single economic report on the calendar today, with the government reporting wholesale inventories at 10 a.m. ET. Economists are looking for a 0.3 percent increase for July, following a 0.2 percent drop in June. The Mortgage Bankers Association will be out with its weekly report on mortgage applications at 7 a.m. ET, and the Energy Department will issue its usual Wednesday look at oil and gasoline inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET.
The earnings calendar remains extremely light, with no companies of note out with numbers in the morning, and Men's Wearhouse (MW) and Vera Bradley (VRA) among the few after-the-bell reports on the schedule.
Restoration Hardware (RH) is among our stocks to watch, reporting second quarter profit of 49 cents per share, excluding certain items, six cents above estimates. Revenue also beat consensus, and the furniture and housewares retailer gave a better than expected forecast for the current quarter thanks to upbeat sales.
Best Buy (BBY) CEO Hubert Joly sold $10.4 million in stock to cover the cost of his divorce, according to an SEC filing. The electronics retailer said despite the sale, Joly remains "heavily invested" in Best Buy.
Canada is selling 30 million General Motors (GM) shares common to Bank of America Merrill Lynch and RBC. The deal represents almost a quarter of its GM stake. Separately, a new report showed the U.S. treasury sold $811 million worth of GM common in August, leaving it with an estimated 186 million shares.
Texas Instruments (TXN) narrowed its third quarter profit and revenue outlook, now expecting current quarter earnings of 51 to 55 cents per share. Current Street consensus is at 53 cents.
International Paper (IP) raised its quarterly dividend by five cents or 17 percent to 35 cents per share. The company also announced a $1.5 billion stock buyback program.
Netflix (NFLX) has launched service in the Netherlands, its 41st country of operations.
BlackBerry (BBRY) cut several dozen U.S. sales jobs, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Vodafone (VOD) is still short of the shareholder acceptances needed for its offer to buy Germany's largest cable company, Kabel Deutschland. Vodafone faces a deadline today to get the necessary approvals.
AIG (AIG) has stopped striking reinsurance deals with Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) for competitive reasons, according to a Bloomberg report. The story cites a growing rivalry between the two companies.
Investor Bill Ackman sent a letter to PricewaterhouseCoopers, alleging serious account issues at Herbalife (HLF). Ackman's Pershing Square has a large short position in Herbalife and he continues to accuse the company of being a "pyramid scheme". PwC is Herbalife's auditor.
Synnex (SNX) is buying IBM's (IBM) customer care business process outsourcing services unit for $505 million in cash and stock. Synnex is a distributor of information technology, and plans to combine the IBM unit with its Concentrix subsidiary.