NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Monday kicks off what's being viewed as a very busy week, with the Federal Reserve's FOMC Minutes being released on Thursday, fourth quarter GDP results being released on Friday and earnings reports from 142 S&P 500 companies being released throughout the week.
And while a plethora of companies are slated to issue fourth quarter results, none seem to be more important than Apple's (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report . The largest company in the world, standing with a market cap of $662 billion, reports after the close of trade on Tuesday.
Analysts are looking for year-over-year earnings per share growth of 25%, according to Bill Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC Financial Services Group (PNC) - Get PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. Report .
Those earnings will likely be driven higher by iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sales, he added. Investors and analysts are waiting to see if the company can actually generate that much growth from its smartphones and maintain some of those growth results going forward.
While there are plenty of other events to keep an eye on next week, Stone jumped right to Friday, when fourth quarter GDP results are expected to be released. Economists expect growth to come in at 3.1%.
The final revision to third quarter GDP in 2014 was revised up to 5%, a lofty figure that got many investors excited. Stone isn't looking for that much of a gain, but he does expect to see better results, estimating a fourth quarter gain of 3.3%.
The GDP report will paint a better picture to how the consumer is doing and how the economy as a whole is doing, Stone reasoned.
-- Written by Bret Kenwell