Today's Primer

Today's Primer Post


An electric week for the stock market (followed by a partially non-electric Super Bowl) has put the Dow over the 14,000 mark for the first time since October 2007, and the Industrial Average enters the new week just 154 points from its all-time closing high. The major averages are also coming off their second best gains of the year, with Friday's advances trailing only the gains chalked up on 2013's first trading day on January 2.

Monday's lone economic report comes at 10 a.m. New York time, when the government is out with December factory orders. Economists expect that number to register a 2.2 percent advance, following an unchanged performance in November.

Consumer products maker Clorox (CLX) is among the companies issuing quarterly earnings this morning, along with Gannett (GCI), Humana (HUM), Simon Property (SPG), and Sysco (SYY). After the bell, we'll get earnings from Anadarko Petroleum (APC), Baidu (BIDU), Edwards Lifesciences (EW), Gilead Sciences (GILD), Hartford Financial (HIG), and Yum Brands (YUM).

Entergy (ETR) leads our list of stocks to watch, as it gets some unexpected attention following last night's Super Bowl power outage. However, the utility says its distribution and transmission systems were serving the New Orleans Superdome at all times.

Dell (DELL) buyout talks reportedly continued over the weekend, according to the Wall Street Journal, and a deal is seen coming within days. As has been reported previously, the buyers would be CEO Michael Dell, private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, and software giant Microsoft (MSFT).

McDonald's (MCD) is introducing its first new Happy Meal in a decade. It will offer a Fish McBites version starting this week.

CarMax (KMX) has approved a $500 million extension of its existing share buyback program. The auto retailer had previously approved a $300 million program on October 17, and the new extension will last until December 31, 2014.

Wet Seal (WTSLA) says president and chief operating officer Ken Seipel has resigned, and that it plans to eliminate the COO position going forward. The specialty retailer is also cutting 35 jobs and implementing a $25 million share repurchase program.

Yahoo (YHOO) is in the news as well, with Third Point LLC selling 11 million of its Yahoo shares. Its remaining stake amounts to 62 million shares. Third Point says its move is motivated by its goal of maintaining a roughly consistent percentage of Yahoo's outstanding shares as the company buys back stock.

Barclays (BCS) chief financial officer Chris Lucas is retiring, along with the scandal-ridden bank's chief legal expert, Mark Harding. Both will stay in those jobs until successors are found.

Blackrock (BLK) is the target of a lawsuit from two pension funds, which allege that the asset manager "looted" securities-lending revenues from investors in its iShares exchange-traded funds. Blackrock says the suit is without merit and that it will contest the charges "vigorously".