Wall Street Week Ahead: Earnings, Bernanke promise active week

Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:19pm EDT
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By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Investors are looking at an onslaught next week. If it's not corporate earnings, it's Ben Bernanke talking about economic issues before Congress.

Recent warnings from a number of companies, including chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices AMD.N, helped drag the S&P 500 lower for six straight days before a Friday rebound.

The S&P 500 and Dow erased losses for the week, barely finishing higher by 0.2 percent and less than 0.1 percent, respectively. The Nasdaq composite fell 1 percent for the week.

With a slew of companies set to report results next week, the hope among investors is that the bad news has been factored in, but the broader picture remains lackluster. That may limit the market's gains even if companies clear a low bar.

"Expectations have been beaten down a lot," said Robbert Van Batenburg, head of equity research at Louis Capital in New York. "The problem is we're dealing with a global slowdown, and I'm sure that's going to be reflected in some of the comments you're going to be hearing."

Data showing slower growth in Europe, China and the United States has weighed on the stock market, while U.S. companies have warned about overseas weakness and a stronger dollar hurting profits on exports.

The minutes from the Federal Reserve's June meeting suggested it is not ready to inject more monetary stimulus into the economy, but traders will be hanging on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's every word for mention of such a possibility and how he views the slowing economy.

Next week dozens of Standard & Poor's 500 companies are to report. They run from top technology names, including Intel (INTC.O: Quote) and Microsoft (MSFT.O: Quote) to General Electric (GE.N: Quote) and Coca-Cola Co (KO.N: Quote).   Continued...

The Wall Street sign is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange, March 26, 2009. REUTERS/Chip East