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.
We should see a positive start to trading in the stock market today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) will gain a strong 54 points to begin the week, according to index futures as of 7:50 a.m. EST.
Stocks are having a banner year so far: The Dow is up 19% through the first 10 months of 2013. And a full 447 companies in the broader S&P 500 are enjoying annual gains right now, according to Bloomberg. The key economic data out this week will be the Labor Department's payroll report, which is expected to show on Friday that just 125,000 jobs were added in October.
With that bigger picture in mind, here are a few individual stocks to keep an eye on in today's market.
British bank HSBC (NYSE: HSBC ) this morning reported a 10% rise in quarterly profit on a slight boost in sales. The company's cost-cutting helped revenue rise 9% faster than expenses through the first three quarters of this year, boosting profitability. Looking ahead, HSBC sees evidence of a "broadening recovery" around the globe and expects worldwide GDP growth to accelerate next year to 2.6% from 2013's 2% pace. HSBC's stock is up 2.7% in premarket trading.
Sysco (NYSE: SYY ) this morning booked slightly better-than-expected quarterly results. Adjusted profit came in flat versus last year, at $0.49 a share, on a 5.7% jump in revenue. While that top-line growth was impressive, the food giant's profit margin shrank by almost a full percentage point as many of its casual-dining restaurant customers continued to struggle. Sysco expects to continue cutting costs into 2014, which should help it book more earnings growth next year. The stock is up 1.3% in premarket trading.
Finally, Discover (NYSE: DFS ) could see active trading after Barron's over the weekend said the stock has plenty of room to run. Discover may handle a tiny portion of credit card transactions when compared to rivals MasterCard and Visa, but it's a much bigger player in loan balances, where it is steadily growing market share. Barron's also highlighted Discover's cheaper valuation of just 10 times next year's earnings versus the broader market's 11.7 multiple. The stock is up 1.9% in premarket trading.