US stocks on triple-digit streak
The Dow is coming off its third consecutive triple-digit gain, something it hadn't accomplished since late June. It's now on track for its biggest weekly gain since the first trading week of 2013, while the S&P 500 managed to wipe out its August losses with yesterday's gains.
The most significant economic report of the day will come at 8:30 a.m. ET, when the Labor Department releases its weekly look at initial jobless claims. Economists expect first-time claims of 330,000, which would be up from 323,000 the prior week. We'll also get August import and export price data at the same time.
At 2 p.m. ET, the government will issue its August federal budget numbers, with consensus forecasts calling for a $150 billion deficit compared to $190.5 billion during the same month a year ago.
The Energy Department will be out with its weekly look at natural gas inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET, while the Treasury is set to auction $13 billion in 30-year bonds, with the results of that sale available shortly after 1 p.m. ET.
Royal Caribbean (RCL) is among our stocks to watch, as the cruise line operator more than doubles its quarterly dividend to 25 cents per share from 12 cents. It's also named former Ernst & Young CEO William Kimsey as its first lead director.
Pandora (P) has named former Microsoft executive Brian McAndrews as its new chief executive officer. He will replace Joe Kennedy, who had announced in March that he would be leaving the online radio company.
Qualcomm (QCOM) has announced a new $5 billion stock buyback program, replacing an earlier $5 billion program that had been announced in March. Qualcomm had already purchased more than half the stock authorized under the previous program.
Mead Johnson Nutrition (MJN) said its board approved a $500 million share repurchase plan. The nutrition products company still has about $9.7 million in authorizations remaining from a prior repurchase plan.
Men's Wearhouse (MW) cut its full year earnings guidance, as retail clothing sales fall below the company's initial forecasts. The company reported profit of $1.01 per share for its most recent quarter, below estimates of $1.14, with revenue also below analyst forecasts.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) and Ametek (AME) will join the S&P 500 after the close of trading on September 20. They will replace Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and SAIC (SAI), which will take the place of Vertex and Ametek in the S&P MidCap 400.
Sterling Financial (STSA) is being bought by fellow regional bank Umpqua Holdings (UMPQ) for $2 billion in cash and stock.
SiriusXM Radio (SIRI) is being sued by record companies Capitol Records, Sony Music, Universal Music, and Warner Music, which claim the satellite radio provider is not paying royalties for recordings from prior to 1972.
Wal-Mart (WMT) has announced "aggressive" pricing for Apple's (AAPL) newest iPhones. It's selling the iPhone 5S for $189, $10 less than Apple's stated price, and the iPhone 5C for $79 compared to the Apple list price of $99.