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U.S. Stock Rally Sputters, But Dow Continues Winning Ways

Wall Street's rally is showing signs of fatigue, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average apparently isn't quite ready to give up its winning ways just yet –it's coming off its eighth straight session of gains after a late move barely pushed it into positive territory for the day. It's the Dow's first win streak of that length since February 2011, and only its sixth in the past 12 years.


After an uneventful start to the week, the economic calendar kicks into more active gear today with a handful of government reports. February retail sales, due out at 8:30am ET, are seen registering a 0.6% increase following a 0.1% rise in January. At 10am ET, business inventories are expected to be up 0.5% for January after December's 0.1% increase. And economists think the federal budget statement – due at 2pm ET – will show a $205 billion dollar deficit for February compared to the $232 billion shortfall registered in the same month a year ago.


Weekly reports out today include the Mortgage Bankers Association's look at mortgage applications at 7am ET, and the Energy Department's assessment of oil and gasoline inventories at 10:30am ET.


The Treasury will sell $21 billion in 10-year notes today, with the results of that sale available shortly after 1pm ET.


Dow component Boeing (BA) leads our list of stocks to watch, after the FAA approved the company's certification plan for the redesigned 787 battery system. Boeing will now be allowed to start testing the fix, putting it one step closer to getting the grounded Dreamliner back into service.


Herbalife (HLF) is in the news on several fronts: investor Carl Icahn has added 322,000 shares to the 16 million he already holds. And the National Consumers League has called on the FTC to investigate allegations by Pershing Square that Herbalife is a pyramid scheme.


BHP Billiton (BHP) is being investigated in both the U.S. and Australia for potential violations of anti-corruption laws, in connection with its 2008 Beijing Olympics sponsorship. The mining company says it believes it was in compliance with the law and that it is cooperating fully with the investigation.


Apple (AAPL) was outspent in mobile phone advertising last year by rival Samsung, according to new figures from Kantar Media. That's a reversal from 2011, when Apple outspent Samsung by a greater than three to one margin.


Discover Financial (DFS) will offer home equity loans starting later this year. The credit card issuer will make loans to homeowners for amounts between $25,000 and $100,000.


Dole Food (DOLE) reported a fourth quarter loss as well as revenues that were well below Street expectations. The fruit and vegetable producer was hurt by weaker fresh fruit sales as well as costs related to a divestiture deal.