Jan. 28, 12 noon ESTInvestors will study fourth-quarter earnings for signs that consumers are cutting back on their spending. Already, a survey of U.S. franchisees revealed December same-store sales grew at the weakest pace in the report's six-year history.
Jan. 28, 6:50 p.m. ESTEconomists will look at December consumer spending data for more evidence the economy is losing steam. December industrial production data, due on Jan. 29, also deserve attention.
STATE OF THE UNION
Jan. 28, 9 p.m. ESTPresident George W. Bush will deliver his last State of the Union address. He's likely to focus on Iraq and the economy.
MORE RATE RELIEF?
Jan. 29-30The Federal Reserve may lower interest rates again at its regular monetary policy meeting. Fears of a U.S. recession, sinking stock prices, and a credit crisis led to a surprise 75 basis-point cut on Jan. 22, putting the target fed funds rate at 3.5%.
Jan. 29Both parties hold primaries in the fourth-most-populous state. The contest is key for Repub-lican candidate Rudolph Giuliani, who brushed off earlier primary races to focus on Florida.
Jan. 29, 5 p.m. ESTThe Internet company reports fourth-quarter results. Job cuts are also expected in the near future.
Jan. 30, 4 a.m. ESTHonda Motor (HMC) gives fiscal third-quarter results, Nissan Motor (NSANY) issues earnings for the same period two days later, and Toyota follows on Feb. 5. U.S. vehicle sales ended the year on a soft note, with December purchases edging up for Honda and down for Toyota and Nissan.
U.S. ECONOMY SLOWS
Jan. 30, 8:30 a.m. ESTReal gross domestic product probably grew at a tepid annual rate of 1.2% in the fourth quarter.
Jan. 31Consumer-products makers Procter & Gamble (PG) and Colgate-Palmolive (CL) report fiscal second-quarter and fourth-quarter results, respectively. Revenue growth outside the U.S. has been strong for both companies.
Jan. 31, 2 a.m. ESTFourth-quarter earnings for Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) are likely to show improvement from the previous quarter. Better results are also expected by Exxon-Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) when they report on Feb. 1.
U.S. JOBS REPORT
Feb. 1, 8:30 a.m. ESTEmployers probably hired around 50,000 workers in January after adding 18,000 in December. Economists will pay close attention to the jobless rate, which rose to a more than two-year high of 5% in December.
Feb. 1OPEC will hold a special meeting to discuss crude oil production. Despite U.S. prices around $90 a barrel, OPEC ministers are expressing reluctance to lift their output.