Earnings will dominate next week, as numerous bellwether companies are scheduled to report their most recent quarterly results.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama will deliver the State of the Union address Tuesday, while, tellingly, Congressman Paul Ryan (R. Wis.), a vocal critic of government spending, will deliver the Republican response.
Also in Washington, D.C., Democratic Congresswoman Sander Levin of Michigan is expected to introduce as early as Monday legislation targeting China's management of its currency.
A handful of Dow Jones Industrial Average companies -- including Halliburton Co. (NYSE:HAL), American Express Co. (NYSE:AXP) and McDonald's Corp. (NYSE:MCD) -- are among those reporting their latest quarterly results. The trio -- all due to report their results Monday -- are all forecast to post improved top and bottom line results from a year ago, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
Other companies from the Dow 30 planning to report their results next week include 3M Co. (NYSE:MMM), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA), Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY).
Yahoo is seen to have benefited from positive display ad trends throughout the quarter, but company fundamentals are coming under pressure due to growing competition from Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Facebook Inc.
Analysts expect another blow-out quarter from Amazon, which is widely seen as the biggest beneficiary of the healthy e-commerce trends this holiday season.
Levin’s bill would allow countervailing duties to be assessed against countries that undervalue their currency. The move highlights the simmering tensions between the U.S. and China despite Chinese President Hu Jintao's much-hyped state visit to Washington.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission will meet Wednesday to issue draft proposals requiring hedge funds and commodity pool operators to report certain systemic risk information to the government.
India's central bank is likely to resume monetary tightening Tuesday with a 25 basis-point hike in key policy rates as it seeks to rein in inflation that has stoked popular protests. The meeting comes as central banks across Asia are raising interest rates to try to keep a lid on inflation. China, Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand all have hiked rates in the past month.
The European Commission is poised next week to approve Intel Corp.'s (NASDAQ:INTC) $7.68 billion purchase of security specialist McAfee Inc. (NYSE:MFE) after the chipmaker offered more concessions to ease competition concerns, Reuters reported.
Spanish Labor Minister Valeriano Gomez said the government will next week deliver its promised pension reform, a key part of its efforts to put its finances on a more solid footing.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will make a one-day visit to Mexico on Monday to discuss bilateral issues including organized crime and border topics. The visit comes as drug violence continues to escalate in parts of Mexico.
Among the significant conferences next week are the Burba Hotel Network Americas Lodging Investment Summit Monday through Wednesday in San Diego, SNL Financial LC Financial Analysis of P&C Insurer Operations Conference Tuesday and Wednesday in New York City, Sandler O'Neill Partners LP Mid-Atlantic Bank Strategy Forum on Wednesday in Philadelphia, and the Turnaround Management Association Distressed Investing Conference Wednesday through Friday in Las Vegas.