Today's Primer

Investors regain optimistic mood for now

The overriding issues of Syria and the Federal Reserve's next moves remain with investors, but those concerns have been put aside for the moment with U.S. stocks coming off their best one-day gains in two months. Stock index futures are pointing to continued gains at the open as the threat of military intervention in Syria appears to have receded for now.

Economic reports out today include the monthly sentiment index from the National Federation of Independent Business at 7:30 a.m. ET, and the Labor Department's monthly "JOLTS" report, a measure of job opportunities and labor turnover, at 10 a.m. ET.

The earnings calendar is nearly blank today, with an after-the-bell report from retailer Coldwater Creek (CWTR) among the few companies set to issue quarterly numbers.

Apple (AAPL) will be watched closely during the trading day, as it prepares to unveil new products at a 1 p.m. ET event at its Cupertino, California headquarters.

PVH Corp. (PVH) is also among our stocks to watch, with the clothing maker reporting second quarter profit of $1.39 per share, excluding certain items, two cents above estimates. However, the maker of Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein-branded clothing is projecting current quarter profit below Street consensus.

Five Below (FIVE) beat estimates by two cents with second quarter profit of 11 cents per share, while revenue was also above analyst forecasts. The discount retailer saw increases in both sales and profit margins during the quarter.

Starwood Property Trust (STWD) is offering 25 million common shares in a secondary offering. Starwood is an originator and acquirer of commercial mortgage and other real estate loans.

Palo Alto Networks (PANW) reported fiscal fourth quarter profit of six cents per share, excluding certain items, matching estimates. Revenue was above consensus for the internet security hardware and software maker, but Palo Alto also saw an increase in operating expenses during the quarter.

IBM (IBM) struck an agreement with German automotive parts maker Continental AG to partner on driverless car systems.

Microsoft (MSFT) is reportedly being urged by three of its 20 largest investors to put Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Computer Sciences CEO Mike Lawrie on its shortlist for a new CEO. According to a Reuters story, those investors want a turnaround expert to succeed the retiring Steve Ballmer.

J.C. Penney (JCP) is being sued by Bodum Group, maker of an upscale coffee press. Bodum claims the retailer did not deliver on a promise to roll out its products a "store within a store".

Google (GOOG) is offering more concessions in hopes of settling an EU antitrust probe that's gone on for nearly three years. Details of the new proposal haven't been made public.

American Express (AXP) is in talks with Time Inc. to sell five of its magazines, including Travel & Leisure and Food & Wine, according to Dow Jones. Time Inc. is in the process of being spun off by parent Time Warner (TWX) as a standalone company.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) could be under pressure, as the FDA sets out guidelines for generic versions of Glaxo's best-selling lung drug Advair.