Morning Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Monday, Oct. 21:

1.-- U.S. stock futures were pointing to slight gains on Wall Street on Monday as investors put the government shutdown behind them and focused on strong corporate earnings.

European stocks were trading mostly lower. Asian shares ended Monday's session with gains. Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.9%.

2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. Monday includes existing-home sales for September at 10 a.m. EDT.

3.-- U.S. stocks closed Friday with gains and the S&P 500 Index set another record close amid speculation the Federal Reserve will stick with its equity-bolstering stimulus program in lieu of tepid economic data releases. 

The S&P 500 rose 0.7% to 1744.48, pushing the 2013 advance to 22%, its best performance to start a year since 1997. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained a modest 0.18% to 15,399.26 while the Nasdaq surged 1.3% to 3914.28.

4.-- JPMorgan Chase (JPM) tentatively agreed to pay $13 billion to settle allegations surrounding the quality of mortgage-backed securities it sold in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis, a person familiar with the negotiations between the bank and the federal government said Saturday.

If the agreement is finalized it would be the government's highest-profile enforcement action related to the financial meltdown that plunged the economy into the deepest recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The person told The Associated Press that Attorney General Eric Holder, Associate Attorney General Tony West, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and the bank's general counsel, Stephen Cutler, negotiated the tentative settlement in a Friday night phone call.

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