NEW YORK (
-- Oil started out Friday morning on the downside and then quickly shot up due to the unrest in Egypt. Well, actually unrest in Tunisia, Lebanon
Egypt. The real concern is how unstable the region is and how difficult it will be to get oil shipped out of the area.
will report its results before the market opens on Monday. Credit Suisse analyst Edward Westlake recently dropped his estimates for Exxon's fourth quarter to a profit of $1.61 a share from $1.85 a share, mostly due to commodity prices being lower in the quarter.
Canadian oil flooded U.S. supplies, which dragged down oil early in the fourth quarter. But looking ahead, most traders expect energy to continue to rise in 2011. Pete Donovan of Vantage Trading on Friday noted that December futures for crude were trading roughly around $95. Expect analysts to ask Exxon about Middle East unrest during the call.
delivers its numbers after the close and then plans to host its conference call on Tuesday morning.
Usually, this isn't a good sign to have the conference call a day later, but it will give analysts plenty of time to prepare questions. The consensus estimate is for earnings of 22 cents a share, but the spread is really wide running from a profit of 57 cents to a loss of 11 cents. The trend has been towards the upside though.
analyst Jonathan Wolff expects Anadarko to exhibit rapid cash flow growth and an active drilling campaign in 2011.
is also slated to report on Monday after the market closes. The stock was downgraded on Friday by Citigroup ahead of its results. Investors will want to hear what the company has to say about recent insider selling, which has been significant, and if it has plans for any additional acquisitions.
The company's ast deal for USON was cooly received by the market, but McKesson still has plenty of cash to make more acquisitions. With health care reform continuing to be unstable, it's difficult to persuade buyers to get involved with the sector.
Chinese Internet search engine
is also scheduled to open its books after Monday's close. The company owns 75% of the search market in China, with Google trailing at 19%. The problem with Baidu, is that if the company already owns 75% of the market, how much more can it grow? Will the numbers start to moderate along with customer growth?
Another area to watch on Monday morning is the dollar. It shot up in response to the Egypt protests as a flight to safety. Granted the dollar hit a two-month low on Thursday, but there will be a focus on the dollar response. The
Volatility Index, known as Wall Street's fear gauge, rose more than 20% on Friday, the sharpest spike since early June. That means the bulls have been shook a bit. Once volatility kicks in, traders reset their strategies.
Personal income and personal spending will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Neither report is expected to be a game changer. Wage costs have not been rising and with so many people out of a job, employers don't feel the need to pay premiums to get workers. The "you're lucky you have a job" mentality continues to prevail.
--Written by Debra Borchardt in New York.
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