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.

The person said the tentative agreement doesn't resolve a criminal investigation of the bank's conduct. It is being handled by federal prosecutors in Sacramento.

5.-- Netflix  (NFLX), the video streaming service, is forecast to report after Monday's closing bell third-quarter earnings of 49 cents a share on revenue of $1.1 billion.

6.-- Hamburger giant McDonald's  (MCD) is expected by Wall Street to post third-quarter earnings on Monday of $1.51 a share on revenue of $7.34 billion. (MCD)

7.-- Analysts expect chipmaker Texas Instruments (TXN) to report third-quarter earnings of 53 cents a share on revenue of $3.23 billion.

8.-- Microsoft (MSFT) pulled a Windows update from its Web site over the weekend after it caused some customers' devices to crash.

The software company removed the RT 8.1 update from the Windows Store, and in place of the update issued an apology for the problem, saying it was trying to resolve the situation quickly. Microsoft said the problem affected only a limited number of users.

9.-- The planned merger of Office Depot (ODP) and OfficeMax (OMX) is on track to receive antitrust clearance from the Federal Trade Commission after a review of more than seven months, according to people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The merger would combine the second- and third-largest office-supply superstores in the U.S.

10.-- Alabama and Florida State hold the top two spots in the first BCS standings of the college football season. Oregon was a close third behind second-place Florida State.

The top two teams in the final standings after the end of the regular season play in the Rose Bowl in January for the national title.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

To contact the writer of this article, click here:Joseph Woelfel

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Copyright 2013 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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