Today's stock market news, Feb. 10, 2014: The markets recovered last week after a choppy start to February trading. On Thursday and Friday, the markets dismissed disappointing unemployment numbers and tepid economic data. The S&P 500 increased 2.6% over the two days.Five Biggest Stories in Today's Stock Market, Feb. 10, 2014:
- All Eyes on Tomorrow: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday and the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday. Although the unemployment rate fell to 6.6% on Friday, the job market isn't adding jobs at a strong pace. Yellen's testimony will center on her priorities in monetary policy for the months ahead and how her tenure at the Fed will differentiate from predecessor Ben Bernanke as she attempts to unwind stimulus efforts.
- The Apple Civil War:Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), a proxy advisory firm, recommended that investors vote against activist investor Carl Icahn's $50-billion stock buyback plan for Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL). For several months, Icahn has campaigned for the company to return more cash to shareholders and filed a resolution proposing the buyback program. Apple shareholders will vote on Feb. 28.
- The Debt Ceiling Arrives Again: In a letter to Congress, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew wrote that the U.S. could begin missing payments on Feb. 27, if the nation doesn't increase the debt limit. The temporary suspension of the debt limit passed by Congress during the last round of negotiation expired on Feb. 7. However, Lew warned the Treasury can use accounting tricks and "extraordinary measures" to stave off the default deadline for the next two weeks.
- The Next Wall Street Scandal: The New York Times reported that federal authorities are investigating hiring practices by Wall Street banks that may have violated U.S. anti-bribery laws. The investigation stems from an email sent by a Chinese official to JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon requesting a "hiring favor." U.S. banks have been hiring family and friends of China's ruling elite in recent years. The government's investigation of at least seven U.S. banks is to determine whether nepotistic hiring practices occurred with the "explicit" goal of winning business from Chinese companies, a possible violation of federal law.
- Sprint Corp. is rethinking its strategy to acquire its growing rival T-Mobile US Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) after antitrust officials discouraged the deal. The U.S. Justice Department and the FCC both opposed the deal, arguing that the U.S. market is more competitive with four national carriers. In 2011, regulators moved to block AT&T (NYSE: T) from purchasing T-Mobile for $39 billion in 2011. Sprint and T-Mobile had believed their deal was much different given they are smaller than AT&T and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ).
- 4-Week Bill Announcement at 11:00 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- TD Ameritrade IMX at 12:30 p.m.
- Consensus earnings per share for CNA Financial Corp. (NYSE: CNA) is $0.85.
- Consensus earnings per share for Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) is $1.23.
- Consensus earnings per share for Loews Corp.(NYSE: L) is $0.70.
- Consensus earnings per share for Sohu.com Inc. (NASDAQ: SOHU) is $-0.34.
- Consensus earnings per share for Boardwalk Pipeline Partners L.P. (NYSE: BWP) is $0.31.
SouFun Holdings Ltd (SFUN), Mercury General Corp. (MCY), Sensient Technologies Corp. (SXT), Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc. (MNTA), Tetra Technologies Inc. (TTI), Insperity Inc. (NSP), Changyou.com Ltd (CYOU)
Warning: Prepare Now for When the New MyRA Becomes "TheirRA"