JPMorgan, CPI: Tomorrow's Headliners

Earnings from JPMorgan Chase and Intel, as well as the December read on the consumer price index, will be in focus Friday.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

and

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

will be in focus Thursday as both the tech giant and banking heavyweight will report earnings prior to the start of trading Friday.

When it reports after Thursday's closing bell,

Intel

is expected to notch a quarterly profit of 30 cents a share, which would be a sharp increase from year-ago earnings of 4 cents a share. Revenue should rise to $10.16 billion from $8.22 billion in the year-ago period.

Meanwhile,

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

shares climbed 0.8% to $44.59 before it opens its books on its fourth-quarter results early Friday.

Currently, analysts expect JPMorgan to earn 61 cents a share in the fourth quarter, according to a poll by

Thomson Reuters

. That would be down from its third-quarter profit of 82 cents a share, if analysts are correct. Investors will be watching to see what JPMorgan says about its credit losses during the quarter, particularly with its credit card portfolio.

Friday will also be a very busy day on the economic front. At 8:30 a.m. EST, the December reading on the consumer price index, an important indication of inflation at the consumer level, will be released. Economists polled by

Reuters

are projecting a 0.1% increase in the headline number, while the core figure (which excludes food and energy) should rise 0.2%.

Economists will also be watching to see what the year-over-year comparisons look like. During the final few months of 2008, energy prices collapsed, which helped keep a lid on inflation. The year-over-year numbers will likely start to increase now, as crude has pushed higher by roughly 80% over the last year.

Also at 8:30 a.m. EST, the New York

Federal Reserve

will release its Empire State manufacturing survey, which should increase to a reading of 12 in January from 2.55 the previous month.

Separately, the Federal Reserve will release the December results for its industrial production and capacity utilization reports at 9:15 a.m. EST. Production should rise 0.6%, which would be slightly down from the 0.8% in November, while utilization should inch higher to 71.8% from 71.3%.

Shortly after, the University of Michigan will release the January reading of its consumer sentiment index, which should continue to climb to 74 from 72.5 in December.

Investors will also be watching comments from Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker, who will be speaking on his economic outlook before Richmond's Risk Management Association at 12:30 p.m. EST.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston

.

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