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Stocks defying September slump

Tuesday, 17 Sep 2013 | 6:53 AM ET


Though September is, on average, the worst month of the year for stocks, that trend is clearly being bucked this year, with the major averages all on track for their best September since 2010, and the Dow on pace for its best month since January, and its third best month in the period stretching back to October 2011. Those fortunes could change, however, depending on the outcome of the two-day Federal Reserve policy meeting that begins today.


While investors await the outcome of that Fed meeting, they'll have a handful of economic stats to consider, beginning with the August Consumer Price Index this morning at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists are looking for a 0.2 percent increase for last month, matching the July figure, while the ex-food & energy rate is seen at a 0.1 percent increase compared to 0.2 percent in July.


At 10 a.m. ET, the National Association of Home Builders issues its monthly sentiment index, with consensus forecasts calling for a reading of 58 for September, down from 59 in August.


Beauty products maker Coty (COTY) and financial data provider FactSet (FDS) are among the handful of companies set to issue quarterly numbers this morning, while software producer Adobe Systems (ADBE) will be out with its earnings after today's closing bell.


Pandora (P) is among our stocks to watch this morning, after the internet radio service announced a secondary stock offering. Pandora will offer 10 million shares, while a stakeholder will put an additional four million shares on the market.


Outerwall (OUTR) cut its third quarter and fiscal 2013 outlook, due in part to lower-than-expected revenues from the Redbox DVD rental unit. Outerwall, the company formerly known as Coinstar, also plans $100 million in stock buybacks.


Mosaic (MOS) cut its third quarter sales outlook, with the fertilizer producer saying its customers have become more cautious. Mosaic's move is also impacting shares of competitors like Potash (POT).


Lockheed Martin (LMT) shares may benefit from the news that the Netherlands will purchase 37 of its F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets, according to Reuters. The jet has been the subject of much controversy because of rising costs and delays that have stretched over a period of years.


JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is close to settling with various parties in civil cases stemming from the "London Whale" case for roughly $800 million, according to CNBC's Kate Kelly.


IBM (IBM) will reportedly announce today that it will spend $1 billion over the next four to five years on Linux and related technologies. The Wall Street Journal reports the announcement will be made at this week's LinuxCon developer's conference in New Orleans.