Week Ahead: Earnings and a Republican Budget

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Published February 04, 2011

| FOXBusiness

Investors will be watching quarterly results from a handful of bellwether companies next week, including prominent names from the health insurance, reinsurance and food and beverage sectors.

Republican leadership aides have said the party intends to formally release a budget proposal next week. Both the House and Senate must pass a new spending measure by March 4 or risk a possible federal government shutdown.

Meanwhile, customers next week will finally be able to pick up a Verizon Wireless iPhone.

Dow Jones Industrial index components Walt Disney Co. (DIS), Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO), Coca-Cola Co. (KO) and Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT) are among the companies scheduled to report their latest quarterly results next week.

All four companies are expected to report improved revenue from a year ago, with Kraft and Coca-Cola's growth expected to be the strongest, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Kraft's results have benefited from the company's acquisition of Cadbury, while Coca-Cola last year completed the acquisition of the North American operations of its biggest bottler.

Profits are expected to be mixed -- with Coke and Disney predicted to report stronger bottom-line results, while Cisco and Kraft are forecast to post declines.

House Republican leadership unveiled a plan to fund the federal government through the remaining months of fiscal 2011 that would generate $32 billion in savings from current funding levels. Republican leadership aides said the party planned to formally release a budget proposal next week when lawmakers return to Washington. Both the House and Senate must pass a new spending measure by March 4 or risk a possible federal government shutdown.

On Thursday, customers will finally be able to pick up a Verizon Wireless iPhone. The device is expected to help the carrier nab new customers, as well as push its own base to upgrade to pricier data plans. For Apple Inc. (AAPL), getting on Verizon Wireless more than doubles its addressable market.

President Barack Obama will address the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday, with plans to discuss his "commitment to growing the economy and making America more competitive," according to White House spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki.

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) is expected to unveil several mobile devices, including a tablet and a smartphone, running on its WebOS platform, which was acquired when the company scooped up struggling smartphone maker Palm. The company is hoping the operating system, which drew critical praise but didn't draw many consumers, will drive H-P's own mobile ambitions.

Kinder Morgan Inc., the largest independent operator of refined petroleum product pipelines in North America, intends to launch its initial public offering Feb. 11. With proceeds that could reach as high as $2.3 billion, it is the second mega-sized private equity deal to hit the market in recent weeks, and would be the largest ever in the U.S., according to data from Dealogic.

Super Bowl XLV is scheduled to kick off at 6:30 p.m. EST Sunday at Cowboys Stadium, a game that will feature AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers against the NFC champion Green Bay Packers. Marketers have agreed to spend $2.8 million to $3 million for 30-second Super Bowl spots because the exposure offers a mass audience. News Corp.'s (NWSA) FOX will broadcast the game. News Corp. is the parent company of FOXBusiness.com.

CME Group Inc. (CME) will introduce a new slate of futures contracts next week designed to allow investors to shield foreign exchange holdings against turmoil in global currency markets. The planned FX VolContracts are linked to realized volatility in key currency pairs, and the first futures introduced on the exchange operator's electronic markets will be centered on the euro/U.S. dollar pairing.

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