3 Things to Know Ahead of the Opening Bell

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) will begin the trading day higher, rising by 28 points at the opening bell, according to stock index futures as of 7:30 a.m. EDT.

The Department of Labor's Employment Situation report, delayed until this morning by the government shutdown, showed that the economy added 148,000 jobs in September, below the 180,000 that was expected. The unemployment rate ticked down to 7.2%, remaining close to a five-year low.

With that bigger picture in mind, here three individual stock stories to watch for in today's market.

Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX  ) shares should see active trading today after the company reported gaining almost 3 million new subscribers last quarter. The company handily beat its own quarterly guidance for subscriber growth both domestically and overseas as original content like Orange Is the New Black and cable hits like The Walking Dead lifted quarterly membership viewing to nearly 5 billion hours. Earnings quadrupled to $0.52 a share on $1.1 billion in sales. Still, even though Netflix's ambitious expansion strategy appears to be working, management echoed Tesla CEO Elon Musk's recent comments, saying that "momentum-investor-fueled euphoria" is affecting the valuation. Netflix shares will see more of that volatility today, as they are up more than 9% in premarket trading.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) will be in focus as it holds a press event at 1 p.m EDT to unveil new hardware, including a potential refresh to its iPad lineup. The Wall Street Journal reports that a thinner, lighter iPad is in store and that the iPad Mini could get its own retina display upgrade. Apple saw its iPad sales drop for the first time last quarter: unit sales fell 14% compared to the prior year. While that dip had a lot to do with the timing of product refreshes, spiking competition played a role, too. Apple will be looking to win back some tablet momentum from rivals like Amazon, Samsung, and Microsoft, which have all introduced new models recently. Apple stock is up 1.1% in premarket trading.

Finally, Coach (NYSE: COH  ) reported earnings this morning that showed evidence of continued struggles in its turnaround effort. Overall revenue and profit both ticked lower as comparable sales in its North America region fell by a painful 6.8%. Profitability shrank, too, as gross margin dropped by a full percentage point to 71.8%, likely due to heavy promotions. While none of those figures are dire, it's clear that Coach isn't entering the critical holiday-shopping season with much momentum. The stock is down 3% in premarket trading.

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