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Monday, October 21, 2013

Schacknow - Today's Brief, Monday, October 21, 2013

Peter Schacknow - Senior Producer, CNBC Breaking News Desk
Investors focused on 'catch-up' stats
Peter Schacknow, Senior Producer, CNBC Breaking News Desk

The economic release schedule for today is a light one, but investors will get a look at September existing home sales at10 a.m. ET. Economists expect the data from the National Association of Realtors to show a drop of 3.3 percent to an annual rate of 5.3 million units. Existing home sales had risen 1.7 percent in August.

CNBC's Steve Liesman will have an exclusive interview with Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans on Squawk Box at 8 a.m. ET. The Fed's policy-making Open Market Committee is set to meet next Tuesday andWednesday.

Dow component McDonald's (MCD) leads today's list of earnings reports, with the restaurant giant expected to report just before 8 a.m. ET. We'll also get quarterly numbers this morning from Hasbro (HAS), Halliburton (HAL), Gannett (GCI), VF Corp. (VFC), and Check Point Software (CHKP). Netflix (NFLX) and Texas Instruments (TXN) are scheduled to report after today's closing bell, along with Discover Financial (DFS) and Zions Bancorp (ZION).

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) leads our list of stocks to watch, with CNBC's Kate Kelly and John Harwood reporting that the bank has reached a tentative $13 billion settlement with the Justice Department and other government agencies over financial crisis-era mortgage loans.

Dell (DELL) will pay a special cash dividend of 13 cents per share as part of the planned buyout of the company by CEO Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners. The buyout group had previously indicated that such a payout would be forthcoming.

Prudential Financial (PRU) will no longer challenge its designation as a systemically important financial institution by federal regulators. Prudential had lost an appeal earlier this y ear, and was facing a deadline to either accept the decision or challenge it in court.

Celanese (CE) earned $1.20 per share, excluding certain items, for the third quarter, beating estimates by five cents. The specialty materials company also reported revenue that was in line with Street estimates.

AT&T (T) is selling or leasing the rights to nearly 10,000 wireless towers to Crown Castle International (CCI) for $4.85 billion.

Microsoft (MSFT) pulled an update from the tablet version of Windows from its web site. The update was causing some devices to crash, and Microsoft said it was trying to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

Office Depot (ODP) and OfficeMax (OMX) are set to receive regulatory approval for their planned merger, according to the Wall Street Journal.

SAP (SAP) reported a 23 percent increase in third quarter profit versus a year earlier, driven by rapid growth in its cloud computing business as well as cost controls.

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