The major U.S. stock averages are experiencing a choppy August as we approach the midway point of the month, with the Dow down about 0.3 percent for the month and the S&P 500 up 0.5 percent. Both registered just their second gains in seven trading sessions Tuesday, with stock futures currently pointing to a slightly lower open.
The Wednesday session will be preceded by just one government economic report, with the July Producer Price Index out at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists are looking for a 0.3 percent rise following June's 0.8 percent jump, with the ex-food and energy rate up 0.2 percent for July.
Weekly reports out today include the latest look at mortgage applications from the Mortgage Bankers Association at 7 a.m. ET, and the Energy Department's assessment of oil and gasoline inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET.
Today's round of Fed-speak comes from St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard, who speaks in Paducah, KY at 1:20 p.m. ET.
Retailer Macy's (M) and heavy equipment maker Deere (DE) lead this morning's list of earnings reports, while Dow component Cisco Systems (CSCO) is the most prominent company set to release earnings after the closing bell.
SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS) is among our stocks to watch today, after the theme park operator reported second quarter profit of 41 cents per share, excluding certain items, ten cents below estimates. Revenue also missed forecasts, as does SeaWorld's full year revenue projections. SeaWorld saw a drop in attendance amid a shift in pricing and poor weather conditions.
JDS Uniphase (JDSU) reported fiscal fourth quarter profit of 13 cents per share, excluding certain items, matching estimates. Both fourth quarter revenue and the testing equipment maker's current quarter revenue forecast were below Street estimates, amid weaker demand from telecom customers.
Cree (CREE) matched estimates with fiscal fourth quarter profits of 38 cents per share, excluding certain items, but its current quarter earnings forecast falls short of analyst projections. Cree is a maker of lighting equipment.
Brocade Communications (BRCD) beat estimates by 7 cents with third quarter profit of 19 cents per share, excluding certain items, with revenue above estimates. The maker of network equipment said its results were helped by increasing demand for its storage products.
Zynga (ZNGA) is seeing three top executives depart: chief operating officer David Ko, chief technology officer Cadir Lee, and chief people officer Colleen McReary. The move comes just a short time after former Microsoft executive Don Mattrick took over as CEO of the online gaming company.
Facebook (FB) has released regional data for the first time, in hopes of communicating more useful information to advertisers. The new stats show that one out of three people in the U.S. visit the social network every day.
David Tepper's Appaloosa Management has increased its stakes in Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC), and Goodyear Tire (GT), while cutting stakes in AIG (AIG), Microsoft (MSFT), and Weatherford International (WFT). It's taken new stakes in Carnival (CCL), Hertz Global (HTZ), and Chicago Bridge & Iron (CBI).