Today's Primer

U.S. Stocks In Unfamiliar Territory


Wall Street's major averages are coming off their first two-day losing streaks in nearly a month, and if the Tuesday session is a losing one, the Dow and S&P 500 would post their first three-day losing streak since late December. The key to the market's mood once again is coming from Cyprus, where the parliament is set to reject a controversial tax on bank deposits.

For the second consecutive day, the only economic report on the calendar is housing related, with the government set to release February housing starts at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists are looking for a 1.6 percent increase to an annual rate of 904,000 units, following an 8.5 percent drop in January.

The earnings calendar remains light today, with show retailer DSW (DSW) and financial information provider FactSet (FDS) among those releasing quarterly numbers this morning. Software producer Adobe Systems (ADBE) and uniform maker Cintas (CTAS) will be out with their earnings after today's closing bell.

Electronic Arts (EA) leads our list of stocks to watch, after John Riccitiello stepped down as chief executive officer of the videogame maker. Chairman Larry Probst, who served as CEO from 1991 – 2007, will serve as interim CEO while a search is conducted for a permanent replacement.

Skullcandy (SKUL) also has a new CEO, appointing Nike executive Hoby Darling to the position. Company founder Rick Alden had been serving as the headphone maker's interim CEO since Jeremy Andrus stepped down last month.

Lululemon (LULU) is forecasting first quarter revenue of $333 million to $343 million, below Wall Street expectations of $354 million. This comes after the maker of athletic wear decided to pull yogawear products from store shelves because some shipments fell short of its standards. Lululemon said the move will have a "significant impact" on financial results and will lead to a shortage of its yoga pants in stores.

Boeing (BA) has struck a deal to sell 175 737-800 jets to Ryanair. The jets are worth almost $15.6 billion at current list prices. Separately, Boeing's technical workers have approved a new four-year contract, after rejecting that pact in the initial vote held last month.

Affymax (AFFY) is planning to cut its workforce by 75%, and the biotech company is also considering putting itself up for sale. Affymax is focusing its resources on an investigation surrounding its flagship anti-anemia drug Omontys.

Citigroup (C) will pay $730 million to settle a class action suit brought by investors in the bank's debt and preferred stock from 2006 – 2008. Those investors had charged Citi with providing misleading disclosures.

BlackRock (BLK) will reportedly lay off nearly 300 workers, according to a memo obtained by Reuters. That number would amount to less than 3 percent of the investment firm's workforce.

Transocean (RIG) chief executive officer Steven Newman will testify today at the trial to determine causes and responsibility for the 2010 Gulf oil spill. Newman also testified before Congress when it held hearings on the disaster.

Washington Post (WPO) has announced it will put up a paywall on its website, similar to what other major newspapers have done. The Post will allow readers 20 free articles per month.