Stocks, Obama, and Retail Sales—5 Things to Watch in the Week Ahead

January 10, 2016, 4:02 PM UTC
Markets Open In New York As Global Stocks Rise
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 30: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on November 30, 2015 in New York City. Following the Thanksgiving holiday in America, stocks were little changed in morning trading with the Dow Jones industrial average down 7 points. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Photograph by Spencer Platt — Getty Images

Hello friends and Fortune readers.

Investors are hoping that the second week of 2016 yields better stock returns than the first, which was one of the worst weeks for U.S. stocks since 2011. Strong earnings reports from a handful of major banks could help boost some stocks, at least, while investors will also have their eyes on a handful of economic data reports, including a look at U.S. retail sales in December. Meanwhile, the president will address the nation for his final State of the Union, and Hollywood will come together for one of the movie and television industries’ biggest award shows.

Here’s what you need to know for the week ahead.

1. Stocks aim for a rebound

U.S. stocks had their worst start to the year of all time, with all the major indexes posting another loss on Friday to leave them all down at least 6% on the week. Even a surprisingly strong December jobs report and a mini rebound for China’s stocks wasn’t enough to spark a rebound in the U.S., where the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 1,000 points in 2016’s first week of trading. China’s crashing stocks kicked off a global sell-off that lasted throughout much of the week, while the ongoing drop in oil prices also helped keep investors’ fears stoked. What’s more, while now might seem like the perfect time to buy into a seemingly underpriced market, Fortune‘s Shawn Tully argued on Friday that the sell-off hasn’t actually created significantly better prospects for investors and that stocks may even have more room to fall this week.

2. Obama’s final State of the Union

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama will deliver the final State of the Union address of his presidency, offering Obama a chance to champion proposals for his final year in office. One issue that Obama is sure to highlight is gun control after he announced last week that he would sign a series of executive orders aimed at tightening restrictions on gun ownership and reducing gun violence in the U.S. The president reportedly plans to leave one chair empty in the audience to symbolize the victims of gun violence who have died. Meanwhile, Obama is also expected to tout some of his administration’s recent political successes, including the December budget agreement, the global climate change agreement, and the steady improvement of the country’s labor market.

3. Retail sales (and more!)

The Commerce Department is expected to report on Friday that December retail sales increased by 0.1%, which would mark the third straight month of improvement as consumer-spending growth continues to boost the economy. On Thursday, more economic reports are expected to show that the Producer Price Index (PPI) dipped 0.2% in December after improving by 0.3% in the previous month, while the Labor Department will likely report that import prices dropped 1.5% last month.

4. Earnings: Citi, JPMorgan, Intel

Earnings season ramps up again this week. A handful of major banks report their latest quarterly earnings, while investors will be interested to hear any updates on how the banking industry is handling the Federal Reserve’s decision to finally raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) reports fourth-quarter and full-year results on Thursday, while Citigroup (C) and Wells Fargo (WFC) will follow with their quarterly results on Friday. Also reporting earnings this week is tech giant Intel (INTC), which recently completed its $16.7 billion mega-deal to acquire smaller rival Altera.

5. Hollywood turns out for Golden Globes

Hollywood’s awards season kicks into high gear tonight, when the Hollywood Foreign Press Association hosts the 73rd Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. The program, which will air Sunday night on Comcast’s (CMCSA) NBC, will honor the best of 2015 in film and television while acting as the annual lead-up to the Academy Awards for the movie industry. Based on this year’s nominees, the event could be a major cause of celebration for streaming services, as Amazon (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX), and Hulu all racked up nominations for their original content. Netflix, especially, could walk away a big winner after earning nine total nominations, including its first ever nod in a film category (for actor Idris Elba’s work in the feature film Beasts of No Nation). Among the traditional media outlets, 21st Century Fox’s (FOX) divisions have the best shot at picking up hardware, with a dozen nominations for Fox’s movie division and another nine nods between the company’s TV studios, FX and Fox Broadcasting.

— Reuters contributed to this post.


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