Coming off a week filled mostly with stock market gains and a spate of geopolitical headlines, Wall Street will have little time off. It's time for another jam-packed week as tech comes into focus, Washington attempts to break bread with allies new and old and earnings season sputters to its close.
Here's what you can't afford to miss in the coming week.
It's Blockchain Week
Experts in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology will descend upon New York this week as the greatest minds in finance meet with next-generation startups for Blockchain Week.
The full week of events includes Consensus 2018, one of the foremost crypto and blockchain conferences, which TheStreet will be attending and voraciously covering. On the speaking slate for Consensus are hundreds of influencers and executives from former JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) - Get Report blockchain head Amber Baldet to Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter Inc. (TWTR) - Get Report and Square Inc. (SQ) - Get Report .
The packed schedule of Blockchain Week-related events taking place in the finance capital of the world could have a significant impact on the prices of actual cryptocurrencies, too.
Robert Sluymer, managing director and technical strategist at Fundstrat Global Advisors, told CNBC last week that in 2015, bitcoin increased 23% after Consensus. In 2016, bitcoin rallied about 10% after Consensus, followed by an additional 80% by year's end, Sluymer said. Bitcoin rocketed higher 69% right around Blockchain Week 2017, too.
Trade Deals Take Focus
Nearly a week out from President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal, a number of geopolitical issues remain unresolved. Trade is chief among them.
Representatives from the U.S. and China, which are the world's two largest economies, met in Washington on Friday to discuss ongoing trade disputes, a U.S. Treasury official told Reuters. The talks were billed as a follow-up to high-level discussions that took place in Beijing last week and a precursor to Chinese Vice Premier Liu He's upcoming visit to Washington.
Trade talks led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin the week before failed to come up with any meaningful compromise to thwart promised U.S. tariffs on up to $150 billion worth of Chinese goods and China's intention to retaliate with similar levies.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan said in remarks last week that he needs a draft of a new Nafta deal by May 17 if Washington plans on the current Congress voting on the matter. The May 17 deadline is pursuant to the U.S. Trade Promotion Authority regulations, which Ryan took part in authoring. If President Trump wants to pass a new version of Nafta through this Congress before highly contested midterms, it's effectively now or never, Ryan suggested.
And on the Economic Calendar...
On Monday, T-Mobile U.S. Inc. (TMUS) - Get Report will report earnings. Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester will speak in Paris, while St. Louis Fed President James Bullard will speak in New York.
Tuesday, earnings are scheduled for Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. (DKS) - Get Report and Home Depot Inc. (HD) - Get Report . Retail sales statistics for April are also expected at 8:30 a.m. ET Tuesday. FactSet economists forecast a reading of 0.4% growth, down slightly from 0.6% a month earlier. San Francisco Fed President John C. Williams will speak in Minneapolis.
For Wednesday, look for earnings from Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) - Get Report and Macy's Inc. (M) - Get Report . At 8:30 a.m. ET Wednesday, the U.S. Census will release housing starts for April. Economists expect a reading of 1.319 million, in line with the previous month. Also Wednesday, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic will offer an economic update in his home state.
As the calendar suggests, earnings season is coming to a close.
For the first quarter, with 91% of the companies in the S&P 500 reporting, 78% of S&P 500 companies have reported a positive EPS surprise and 77% have reported a positive sales surprise, according to FactSet data. If 78% is the final number for the quarter, it will mark the highest percentage since FactSet began tracking this metric in the third quarter of 2008.
In the first quarter, the blended earnings growth rate is 24.9%. If 24.9% is the actual growth rate for the quarter, it will mark the highest earnings growth since the third quarter of 2010, when the rate was 34%.
The forward 12-month price to earnings ratio for the full S&P 500 is 16.5, well above both the five-year (16.1) and the ten-year (14.3) averages.