Investors keep watch on Washington deal progress

Stocks could get a further boost today, as Senate leaders Reid and McConnell say they're near a deal to end the government shutdown and raise the nation's debt ceiling, although they caution a deal is not final yet. Hopeful signs Monday helped the Dow erase a triple-digit loss and finish the day higher, with both the Dow and the S&P 500 registering their fourth consecutive day of gains.

The dearth of economic reports continues today, with the government shutdown still in effect, although the New York Fed will issue its Empire State Survey at 8:30 a.m. ET. The measure of the New York State manufacturing economy is seen coming in at 6.0 for October, compared to 6.29 in September.

The pace of corporate earnings picks up today, with Dow components Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Coca-Cola (KO) both out this morning. Citigroup (C), Omnicom (OMC) and Charles Schwab (SCHW) are also on this morning' schedule, while Intel (INTC), CSX Corporation (CSX), and Yahoo (YHOO) will be out with quarterly numbers after today's closing bell.

Apple (AAPL) is a stock to watch, with the announcement that Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts will move to Apple as Senior Vice President next year. Ahrendts will head Apple's retail efforts, the same position that was occupied by Ron Johnson before his departure for J.C. Penney, and report to CEO Tim Cook.

Macy's (M) will open on Thanksgiving for the first time in its history, saying the move was consistent with what its rivals are doing. Most Macy's stores will open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night.

Teradata (TDC) projected current quarter earnings and revenue below analyst estimates. The data analytics firm has been hurt by price competition, affecting its revenue overseas. The company is also lowering its full year forecasts.

Packaging Corporation of America (PKG) earned 91 cents per share, excluding certain items, for the third quarter, two cents above estimates, with revenue also beating consensus. It was helped by both increasing volumes and higher prices.

Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) chief executive Michel Combes told a European radio audience the company could go out of business if it cannot cut costs and jobs. His comments come as workers plan a protest over Alcatel's recent announcement that it would cut more than 10,000 jobs.

BlackBerry (BBRY) has launched an ad campaign to reassure its customers that it will remain in business. It's doing so in an open letter that will be published around the world.

Analog Devices (ADI) is selling its microphone business to InvenSense (INVN) for $100 million in cash. The unit represents less than one percent of the chipmaker's business.

Coldwater Creek (CWTR) will explore strategic options, with the retailer's sales slide accelerating. It now expects its current quarter earnings to be below its prior guidance, despite cost cutting initiatives and other moves to streamline its operation.