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Stock Market News Today: What and Who to Watch

After last week's onslaught of economic indicators and earnings reports, the stock market today is down in morning trade. As earnings season winds down, this week has fewer economic reports in the pipeline and the stock market today is slightly weighed. The Dow is down 0.26% at 15,620 points; the Nasdaq is up 0.07% at 3,692; and the S&P 500 is down 0.10% at 1,708. In major stock market news today, investors are still awaiting clarity on two major political issues: the Obama administration's next choice for Federal Reserve chief after Ben Bernanke departs and the timing of the tapering of the Fed's $85 billion-per-month bond-buying program . In addition, the controversial proposals from Michael Dell and Carl Icahn in their bids for Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL ) continue to make headlines after a shareholder meeting to vote on them last week was postponed yet again. Both sides have been upping their bids for the technology giant. To Continue Reading, Please Click Here...

After last week's onslaught of economic indicators and earnings reports, the stock market today is down in morning trade.

As earnings season winds down, this week has fewer economic reports in the pipeline and the stock market today is slightly weighed.

The Dow is down 0.26% at 15,620 points; the Nasdaq is up 0.07% at 3,692; and the S&P 500 is down 0.10% at 1,708.

In major stock market news today, investors are still awaiting clarity on two major political issues: the Obama administration's next choice for Federal Reserve chief after Ben Bernanke departs and the timing of the tapering of the Fed's $85 billion-per-month bond-buying program.

In addition, the controversial proposals from Michael Dell and Carl Icahn in their bids for Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL) continue to make headlines after a shareholder meeting to vote on them last week was postponed yet again. Both sides have been upping their bids for the technology giant.

Economic Indicators in the Stock Market Today

Amid movement in the stock market today, the ISM nonmanufacturing index for July, which came out at 10 a.m., offered some positive news.

This index is a result of a survey of purchasing managers and gauges the activity in the U.S. service sector. Economists expected the index to rise to about 53.1% from 52.2%, but the index actually rose to 56% in July from a month prior. In response, the stock market today trimmed losses.

Tomorrow, we'll see the ICSC-Goldman Store Sales, which offer a look at comparable store sales at major retailers. It's published by the International Council of Shopping Centers.

On Wednesday, the Mortgage Bankers' Association will release its purchase applications index, which measures applications at mortgage lenders and serves as a gauge for housing demand. Gallup will also release its U.S. Job Creation Index, which gauges whether companies are hiring or firing.

On Thursday, investors will see the finalized jobless claims numbers and on Friday wholesale trade numbers will be released.

In the stock market today so far, the dollar has pared pre-market losses against major currencies like the British pound and the Japanese yen, in the wake of the ISM report indicating the service sector is heating up.

And, in turn, gold is down slightly at $1,305.10 an ounce now and bonds are making a slight move down across the yield curve this morning.

Gold prices had a huge rally on Friday on a disappointing jobs report from the Labor Department, but were down overall for the week as investors absorbed much of the economic data, including the quarterly GDP report, as positive economic indicators.

Earnings in the Stock Market Today

Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN) and HSBC (NYSE: HBC) are among the companies that have already reported earnings in the stock market today as the week kicks off, with Tyson offering a surprise beat in earnings and HSBC disappointing with its second-quarter results.

HSBC shares are down 5% in the stock market today as it says net profit for the first half was $10.28 billion, compared with $8.44 billion in the first half of 2012. Revenue fell 7% to $34.4 billion. And Tyson Foods shares are up 4.2% at $29.71, marking a new 52-week high in the stock market today, as it reports Q3 earnings of $0.69 per share, versus the Capital IQ consensus of $0.59. Revenues were $8.73 billion, versus the analyst estimate of $8.64 billion. In the same period last year, the company reported EPS of $0.22 on revenue of $8.26 billion.

After the closing bell today, major earnings on tap are: BroadSoft Inc. (Nasdaq: BSFT) and Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO).

Oil & Natural Gas

Crude oil futures are down, but only slightly so far this morning. Light, sweet crude oil for September delivery is down $0.39, up from $1.00 declines in pre-market trade. It's now at $106.55 per barrel. In other energy futures, heating oil is down $0.02 at $3.05 a gallon while natural gas is flat at $3.35 per million British thermal units.

In other energy news, Resolute Energy (NYSE: REN) this morning reported Q2 GAAP earnings of $0.14 per share, versus the Capital IQ GAAP consensus of $0.04. Revenue was $89.1 million, versus the analyst estimate of $91.3 million.

Other Stock Market News Today

In other stock market news, DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA) is up 0.5% at $26.87 after it said it will offer a $300 million aggregate principal amount of a new series of Senior Notes due 2020.

And Carter's Inc. (NYSE: CRI) today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, The William Carter Co., intends to commence an offering of $400,000,000 aggregate principal amount of Senior Notes due 2021, subject to market and other conditions. The interest rate and other terms of the notes will be determined by negotiations among the company and the initial purchasers of the notes. CRI is flat at $73.42.

Finally, Canadian Solar Inc. (NADAQ: CSIQ) shares are up 8.3% at $15.28 in the stock market today after its Canadian Solar Solutions unit has agreed to sell five utility-scale solar power plants to a Concord Pacific affiliate in a transaction worth $277 million. Under the agreement, the plants, located in Chesterville, Pefferlaw, Springwater, Sudbury and Wyebridge, Ontario, Canada, are expected to start construction during 2013 and 2014 with commercial operation expected in 2014. The shares have marked a new 52-week high at $15.83 in the stock market today.

Investors can't miss Money Morning's top story today: These Companies Must Pay Out 90% of Their Earnings

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