Tomorrow's Headliners: Merrill

Also, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks in Washington.
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Traders will have a full slate to deal with Thursday, as

Merrill Lynch

(MER)

leads another round of financial-sector earnings and

Federal Reserve

Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks in Washington.

Quarterly reports from

Bank of New York

(BK) - Get Report

,

BB&T

(BBT) - Get Report

,

CIT

(CIT) - Get Report

,

Washington Mutual

(WM) - Get Report

and

TD Ameritrade

(AMTD) - Get Report

, among others, are also due.

Other notables set to post numbers are

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

,

Advanced Micro Devices

(AMD) - Get Report

,

Continental

(CAL) - Get Report

,

Novartis

(NVS) - Get Report

and

Seagate

(STX) - Get Report

.

Also,

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Report

will host an analyst day.

The economic news will be highlighted by a speech coming from Fed chief Bernanke, who will be discussing the economic outlook at the House of Representatives.

Also planned for release are data on December housing starts from the Census Bureau, initial jobless claims from the Labor Department and the Philadelphia Fed's monthly index.

On

TheStreet.com

, David Peltier will tell you whether you should buy

Hillenbrand Industries

(HB)

, and Melissa Davis will examine what went wrong for a cholesterol-lowering drug from

Schering-Plough

(SGP)

and

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.