Iowa, January Jobs, and the Super Bowl—5 Things to Know for the Week Ahead
Hello friends and Fortune readers.
This week starts with the first votes being cast for 2016 presidential candidates and it ends with an important look at how many jobs employers added during the first month of the year. Investors will also have their eyes on a string of big corporate earnings reports, starting on Monday with Alphabet’s first look at how some of its “moonshots” are faring. That all precedes the biggest football game, and one of the biggest nights for television, of the year.
Here’s what you need to know for the week ahead.
1. January jobs report
On Friday, the Labor Department is expected to release its preliminary look at how the U.S. labor market fared in the first month of 2016— a month that saw markets get off to a terrible start to the year. The government is expected to announce that the unemployment rate held steady at 5% in January, with analysts expecting that the economy added 190,000 new jobs. That total would fall well short of the robust 300,000 jobs employers added in December, when mild weather and holiday season jobs provided a boost to the market.
2. Iowa caucuses
Monday brings the first actual votes cast in the 2016 presidential election cycle as Iowa holds its nominating caucuses for the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. Recent polls show GOP frontrunner Donald Trump is still in a tight race with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the state, while on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders continue to battle for the lead. Both races are close and candidates will look for a strong showing in Iowa to pave the way for victory in the Feb. 9 New Hampshire primaries.
3. Super Bowl 50
The 50th installment of the NFL’s biggest game of the year is slated for this coming Sunday night, when the Denver Broncos take on the Carolina Panthers in Santa Clara, Calif. While there is some debate over the size of the economic impact of the big game on the host city, the Super Bowl definitely spurs a spike in network advertising sales, with host network CBS (CBS) claiming that the average 30-second spot during the game is going for $5 million.
4. Earnings: Alphabet, Exxon Mobil, Pfizer
On Monday, Google @Goog(GOOGL) holding company Alphabet reports fourth-quarter earnings results and the company is finally expected to include information from non-Google business units. Investors will want to see how Google’s core business is growing, while the company’s “other bets” could also provide some interesting insights.
Meanwhile, the world’s largest public oil company, Exxon Mobil (XOM), reports fourth-quarter results on Tuesday. Like the rest of its oil industry rivals, Exxon has faced a string of rough quarters due to the ongoing global oil glut that has sent crude oil prices plummeting since mid-2014. The company is expected to report fourth-quarter profit that is down roughly 50% from the same quarter in the previous year. And, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (PFE) also offers up its fourth-quarter results on Tuesday, with the company having recently completed its acquisition of smaller rival Hospira. Other companies reporting earnings this week include General Motors (GM), Comcast (CMCSA), and United Parcel Service (UPS).
5. Yahoo earnings and reorganization news
On Tuesday, Yahoo (YHOO) is likely to report fourth-quarter results that fall below Wall Street’s expectations as the company contemplates a series of cost-cutting measures, including layoffs, as well as the spinoff of its core Internet business. Investors will be interested to hear about Yahoo’s attempts to develop mobile content to spur user growth as well as the company’s reorganization, which could include a layoff reducing headcount by 10%.
—Reuters contributed to this post.