The Dow and the S&P 500 are riding three-week winning streaks as we head into the final four trading days of October, with investors now focused on the two-day meeting of Federal Reserve policymakers that begins tomorrow. The central bank is not expected to begin trimming its bond-buying program, in part because of concerns about the lingering effects of the government shutdown.
Several economic reports are on tap this morning, starting with September industrial production and capacity utilization figures for September at 9:15 a.m. ET. Economists are looking for a 0.5 percent increase in industrial production following August's rise of 0.4 percent, and capacity utilization is expected to rise to 78.1 percent from the prior month's 77.8 percent.
At 10 a.m. ET, the National Association of Realtors is out with its September reading on pending home sales, which fell 1.6 percent in August.
The Treasury will sell $32 billion in 2-year notes today, with the results of that sales available shortly after 1 p.m. ET.
It will be another busy week for corporate earnings, although today's schedule is relatively light. Dow component Merck (MRK) is the most prominent of this morning's reports, with Biogen Idec (BIIB), Edwards Lifesciences (EW), and Roper Industries (ROP) also set to report. Apple (AAPL) will be the most widely anticipated after-the-bell report today, with Hartford Financial (HIG), Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH), NutriSystem (NTRI), and Seagate Technology (STX) also on today's schedule.
Facebook (FB) is among our stocks to watch today, with All Things D reporting that Facebook has decided not to launch video ads this year. Instead, the social network will take more time to evaluate the idea.
JPMorgan Chase (JPM) has reached a $5.1 billion settlement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, related to the sale of mortgage-backed securities.
General Motors (GM) was outsold by Toyota (TM) during the first nine months of the year, according to the Japanese automaker. Toyota sold 7.41 million vehicles during that period, compared to 7.25 million for GM.
BlackBerry (BBRY) remains on our watch list amid various takeover rumors and denials. Software producer SAP (SAP) is the latest in the mix, but chief financial officer Werner Brandt told a German magazine that SAP has no interest in bidding for the smartphone maker.
Dendreon (DNDN) is looking for a possible buyer, according to Bloomberg. The news comes after sales for its prostate cancer drug Provenge came in weaker than expected.