NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- After a relatively slow week, the next five trading days will be a test of U.S. investor confidence as a Feb. 15 deadline looms over Greek debt talks.
The clock is ticking on negotiations for Greece, as eurozone officials have marked Feb. 15 as the cutoff point for an agreement on a second bailout deal. If the debt-ridden nation is unable to find 325 million euros ($428.6 million) of additional budget cuts by then, the country will face the distinct possibility of a disorderly default on March 20.
Economic data due out of Europe the same day likely will add to the tension. An initial estimate of euzozone economic performance is likely to show the region contracted 0.4% in the fourth quarter, according to
, following 0.2% growth in the previous quarter. If the region continues to contract in the current quarter, it would formally signal a recession.
Meanwhile, retail sales reports and manufacturing data from the U.S. could keep investors confident in growth on the other side of the Atlantic.
On Valentine's Day morning, investors hope to see the Commerce Department report stronger retail sales for the month of January after sales disappointed in December.
Economists polled by
forecast sales expanded by 0.6% after rising just 0.1% in December, when heavy discounting and cheaper fuel prices knocked down the value of goods. Meanwhile, a Bureau of Labor report, also due out at 8:30 a.m. EST, is expected to show export prices fell 0.1% and import prices climbed 0.2%.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will also get in on the action Valentine's Day when he appears before the Senate Finance Committee to present the president's budget for fiscal year 2013.
On Wednesday, the
is expected to report at 9:15 a.m. EST that industrial production continues to expand at a quickening pace. Economists expect production to have risen 0.6% in January, after climbing 0.4% the prior month. Industrial utilization is also expected to have improved, to 78.5% of capacity from 78.1% in December.
At 8:30 a.m. EST on Monday, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is expected to show manufacturing in the region continues to improve as well. The Empire State Manufacturing Survey is expected to indicate conditions advanced 0.7 points to 14.2 in February. At 10 a.m. EST, the Housing Market Index from the National Association of Home Builders is forecast to rise to 26, after climbing to 25 last month, its highest level since June 2007.
In the afternoon, the Federal Open Market Committee will release the minutes of its last meeting, on Jan. 24-25. However, with the new efforts at transparency, the minutes are unlikely to reveal anything new.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke already announced in a press conference after the meeting last month that benchmark funds rate is expected to remain near zero through 2014. Nonetheless, Bernanke will follow up with a press conference at 9 a.m. EST Thursday morning.
The U.S. economic data bonanza continues Thursday with reports on housing starts, initial jobless claims and producer prices at 8:30 a.m. EST. The Commerce Department is expected to report that housing starts climbed 2% to a 670,000 annual rate after dropping 4.1% in December, while initial jobless claims are expected to spike to 365,000 after falling to 358,000 last week.
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve is expected to report that its business index jumped to 8.5 in February after increasing to a three-month high of 7.3 last month, according to
The Bureau of Labor Statistics will close out the week's economic data at 8:30 a.m. EST Friday with a report on consumer prices. The consumer price index is expected to climb 0.3% after holding flat the prior month.
But the U.S. economic calendar isn't the only one that is full.
will kick off the week's fourth-quarter corporate earnings reporting Monday -- the first of 923 companies scheduled to report during the week ahead.
Masco, a maker of home improvement products, is expected to report a loss of 5 cents a share for the fourth quarter on revenue of $1.779 billion as a struggling housing market and record rates of foreclosures continue to dampen sales. Cinema operator Regal Entertainment is expected to report earnings of 2 cents a share on revenue of $627.3 million for the busy holiday movie season, according to
Earnings reporting kicks into high gear Tuesday as 329 companies prepare to report. High on the agenda are
, which will report earnings for the first time since CEO Andrea Jung stepped down, and
, which reports for the first time since its initial public offering in December.
Avon is expected to see earnings of 51 cents a share on revenue of $3.113 billion, rising 2.4% from $3.04 billion the prior year as the company continues to grow its business internationally, whereas investors don't know what to expect ahead of Zynga's first earnings call.
Other big names reporting Tuesday include
, which is looking for earnings of 20 cents a share on revenue of $5.884 billion;
, which is expecting $1.24 a share with $16.806 billion in sales; and luxury-clothing company
, which is reporting for the first time since first publicly issuing stock in December.
will compete for attention with the Greek debt deadline Wednesday.
Deere, the world's largest farm-equipment maker, is expected to report earnings of $1.97 a share on revenue of $8.832 billion.
Nvidia, a maker of graphic processors, is expected to see 19 cents a share with $950.4 million in sales. Marriott, the largest publicly traded U.S. hotel chain, is expected to report earnings of 47 cents a share with $3.77 billion in revenue.
are also expected to report Wednesday.
Dr. Pepper Snapple Group
Abercrombie & Firtch
will also report.
will follow up with earnings on Thursday. The hotel chain is expected to see earnings of 13 cents a share with $1.003 billion in revenue.
Also reporting Thursday is energy company
, expected to see $2.87 a share in profits with $4.293 billion in sales, and
, China's biggest Internet company by market value.
Analysts expect Baidu to report earnings of 91 cents a share with revenue of $700.33.
, the biggest beer company based in North America, is expected to see earnings of 71 cents a share.
Earnings reporting will slow Friday, with Avon competitor
reporting to bring things full circle. The cosmetics maker is expected to report earnings of 59 cents a share with $361.2 million in sales.
Meanwhile, condiment maker
is expected to report earnings of 85 cents a share Friday for its fiscal third quarter, while the world's largest soupmaker
is expected to see 62 cents a share in earnings.
-- Written by Kaitlyn Kiernan in New York.
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