Hello friends and Fortune readers,
The markets are still open on Monday for Columbus Day, although bond markets will be closed, which means a full week of trading ahead. A handful of big banks will report quarterly earnings this week, with results that could move the market, while September retail sales and CPI could shed some more light on the state of the U.S. economy. Meanwhile, this week could bring the year’s largest IPO, as well as a new Nobel Prize winner for economics, and a group of Democratic presidential hopefuls will take the state in Las Vegas for that party’s first debate of the season.
Here’s what you need to know for the week ahead.
1. Bank earnings: JP Morgan, Goldman
As corporate earnings season gets back into full swing, a handful of big banks get set to report their latest quarterly results this week, with analysts expecting the financial industry to have seen a drop-off in earnings during the last quarter. JPMorgan & Chase (JPM), Goldman Sachs (GS), Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), and Wells Fargo (WFC) all release quarterly earnings reports this week, as the financial sector is expected to show earnings growth of 8.4% in the most recent quarter. That falls behind only telecommunications and consumer discretionary companies for earnings growth in the last quarter, but it still means that financial companies saw slower growth than the nearly 15% expected at the start of the quarter.
In addition to the banks, other big companies reporting this week include Netflix (NFLX) and General Electric (GE).
2. September retail sales
The U.S. Commerce Department will release September’s retail sales figures on Wednesday, with economists expecting the report to show an increase in spending by American consumers last month driven by a bump in new auto sales. Meanwhile, the Labor Department is expected to report on Thursday that consumer prices dipped last month, which would mean that U.S. inflation is still below the Federal Reserve’s benchmark level for a long-awaited interest rate hike. The Fed, which meets again later this month to discuss economic policy, is also expected to announce that industrial production in the U.S. declined in September for the second straight month.
3. 2015’s biggest IPO?
Private equity firm KKR took First Data Corp. private eight years ago and now the Atlanta-based payments technology giant is preparing to launch what could be the year’s biggest initial public offering. First Data plans to raise more than $3 billion when it returns to the market this week, with a market value of at least $16 billion for the company near the low end of is price target range. KKR doubled down on its First Data investment last year and the private equity firm will now look to recoup on some of that investment in a company that still has roughly $21 billion in debt.
4. Economics Nobel
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences will announce this year’s winner(s) of the Nobel Prize in the category of economic sciences in Stockholm on Monday. The Academy has already handed out Nobel Prizes in categories such as physics and literature as well as this year’s Peace Prize. Thomson Reuters maintains a long list of potential winners in every category, including last year’s economics winner: Jean Tirole of the Toulouse School of Economics in France.
5. First Democratic primary debate
The GOP’s candidates have held the spotlight for some time, but now it’s time for the Democrats to make some noise. The first Democratic primary debate will take place in Las Vegas Tuesday evening, with frontrunner Hillary Clinton lining up next to fellow candidates such as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee. CNN is also giving Joe Biden every opportunity to make a splash in the race, with the network promising to hold a spot on the stage for the current Vice President as long as he declares his candidacy before the event. The Republican debates have garnered huge television ratings, but without reality star Donald Trump on the billing, the Democrats might have trouble matching the GOP’s viewership.
—Reuters contributed to this report.