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Coming Week: Never-Ending Earnings

If there are some more Wells Fargos (WFC) in the mix next week, investors could be very happy.

Last week, Wells Fargo, along with falling oil prices, helped buoy a market that had gotten to incredibly low levels by releasing a better-than-expected earnings report.

Over the five trading sessions, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 4.5% to 11,496.57, the S&P 500 gained 1.7% to 1260.68, and the Nasdaq Composite added 2% to 2282.78.

"We think the bounce can continue," says Ryan Detrick, chief technical strategist at Schaeffer's Investment Research. "This could be the first quarter in four that we beat overall expectations."

Detrick notes out that the 1220 to 1225 range was a double bottom for the S&P 500 in the summer of 2006, and "it sparked a tremendous rally" in the last half of that year, so an echo of that is possible here.

The earnings come fast and furious next week across all major sectors, led by a raft of Dow components. Those include Bank of America (BAC - Get Report) and Merck (MRK - Get Report) on Monday, Caterpillar (CAT) and DuPont (DD) on Tuesday, AT&T (T), Boeing (BA - Get Report), McDonald's (MCD) and Pfizer (PFE - Get Report) on Wednesday and 3M (MMM) on Thursday.

Investors will be watching to see if the financial-sector-inspired momentum can continue, but the markets will have to get past earnings releases from a number of companies that have been the subject of concern lately. For example, on Tuesday, reporters Wachovia (WB) and Washington Mutual (WM - Get Report) are expected to show some ugliness on their balance sheets.

Other financial companies reporting earnings include UnionBanCal (UB) on Monday; KeyCorp (KEY), Regions Financial (RF) and SunTrust (STI) on Tuesday; SLM Corp. (SLM) Wednesday; MBIA (MBI), Genworth Financial (GNW) and Sovereign Banc (SOV) on Thursday; and T. Rowe Price (TROW) on Friday.
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Chart of I:DJI
DOW 15,973.84 +313.66 2.00%
S&P 500 1,864.78 +35.70 1.95%
NASDAQ 4,337.5120 +70.6750 1.66%

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