U.S. stocks come off a "limp-to-the-finish" session, in which the Dow exceeded 16,000 and the S&P rose above 1,800 for the first time. Neither finished above those benchmarks, with the Dow managing another record close with a gain of 14 points, and the S&P finishing lower on the day after the early rise.
The only government report out today is one that ordinarily doesn't draw much market attention, with the third quarter employment cost index out at 8:30 a.m. ET. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans has a 2:15 p.m. ET speech at a banking conference in Chicago, while Fed chairman Ben Bernanke has an evening address at the annual members dinner of the National Association For Business Economics.
Dow component Home Depot (HD) is among the companies set to issue quarterly earnings this morning, along with Best Buy (BBY), Campbell Soup (CPB), Medtronic (MDT), TJX (TJX), and Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS). Furniture retailer La-Z-Boy (LZB) is among the companies set to release quarterly numbers after today's closing bell.
JPMorgan Chase (JPM) leads our list of stocks to watch, with a nearly $13 billion settlement agreement expected to be announced today. The settlement stems from financial crisis era mortgage investments, many of those originated by Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns, later acquired by JPMorgan.
Urban Outfitters (URBN) reported third quarter profit of 47 cents per share, two cents above estimates, with revenue above consensus as well. The quarter also saw same-store sales rise 7 percent during the quarter, led by the company's Anthropologie and Free People chains.
Salesforce.com (CRM) matched estimates with third quarter profit of nine cents per share, with revenue above analyst estimates. However, the cloud computing services provider also predicted current quarter profit below Street estimates.
Brocade Communications (BRCD) reported fiscal fourth quarter profit of 24 cents per share, excluding certain items, six cents above estimates, while revenue also came in above analyst forecasts. The networking equipment maker saw profit margins rise during the quarter, and also managed to cut expenses.
Boeing (BA) got a total of $100 billion in orders during the first day of the Dubai Airshow, more than twice those of European rival Airbus.
Nokia (NOK) shareholders will vote on the sale of the company's mobile phone business to Microsoft (MSFT), a transaction which is expected to win approval.