Written By Becky Smith
Well ,so much for the trend being up. I am not sure how much more investors can take when it comes to the scandals that keep hitting the market. First we find out about Madoff, the biggest ponzi scheme in history, a 50 Billion dollar fraud . Then two smaller ponzi schemes were discovered this week, one for 17 million and one for approximately 50 million. To top it off Wednesday Satyam Computer Services chairman, Ramalinga Raju, announces that the company is a gigantic fraud. We are not talking some small unknown company.This is the 4th largest information technology services company in India, that employs 54,000 people! Satyam was founded 20 years ago. Amazing!!
The unemployment rate rose to 7.2%, the highest level in 16 years. More than 524,000 people lost their jobs in December, but that number was less that many analyst were expecting. In 2008 more than 2.5 million jobs were lost, with more lay-offs expected this year.
Earnings start in earnest this week and they are not expected to be pretty. Most companies are likely to write off as many losses as possible in their results. The only areas expected to post gains are the utilities, healthcare and consumer staples.
I’ll be watching for Alcoa’s earnings after close on Monday. They have already announced lay-offs(13,500 employees) and that they are reducing capacity(18%) and that they would stop “all non-critical capital investments”. Their shares are down 65% over the last 52 weeks. There is worry that they might cut their dividend, if they do I believe the shares will go down. If they say anything that can be construed as a positive and leave the dividend intact I think it will bounce.
Infosys Technologies Limited reports earnings on Tuesday this company could bounce if they hit their numbers. They could also benefit from the Satyam scandal picking up business in their enterprise solutions, financial services and manufacturing divisions.
There are a few other major earnings reports this week Xilinx reports Wednesday. Intel and Genentech report Thursday after the bell. It’s also thought that Roche of Switzerland is preparing an offer for Genentech, of which it owns a 56% stake. The offer is expected to be approximately $95 a share. Genentech closed Friday at $86.34. That’s not to say it’s a sure thing, last July independent directors rejected an offer of $89 a share.
Fed Chairman Bernanke will speak Tuesday at the London School of Economics.
Wednesday data will include retail sales numbers for December: import prices and business inventories
Jobless claims, inflation data will be released with producer prices Thursday the consumer price index, industrial production and consumer sentiment and personal finance on Friday.
Keep in mind that all of these reports have varying amounts of importance to the markets and can move them up or down.
As always keep your eyes on the markets and whether you are long or short may all of your trades be profitable!!