Investors preparing for Friday, Oct. 12, will have a slow earnings flow, as the first week of earnings season ends with General Electric ( GE), whose quarterly report was released before the opening bell. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial are looking for a profit of 50 cents a share and revenue of $42.4 billion for the September quarter. Throughout the morning, several pieces of economic data will be out for investors to consider, including retail sales from the government, business inventories, the University of Michigan's preliminary consumer sentiment index and the producer price index, a measure of wholesale-level inflation. Elsewhere, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Vice Chairman Donald Kohn will be speaking at a conference in Dallas. On TheStreet.com, investors can read markets columnist Liz Rappaport's answer to the question: Are we only now at the beginning of what could be a prolonged downturn for the greenback? Not necessarily, says one pro. Even after its pronounced weakness, all might not be lost for the buck. Commodities-investing guru Jim Rogers tells Rappaport he believes the dollar may yet stage a rebound. The dollar has been crushed lately, falling to record lows against the euro and hitting its worst level in more than three decades against its Canadian counterpart. Also, staff reporter Nicholas Yulico will take a closer look at the aircraft-leasing companies, and he offers a warning for investors in the sector, especially those playing these names for their dividends.
The most recent public member of the group, Babcock & Brown ( FLY), has a nice dividend, but does it actually have the cash to keep paying it? Meanwhile, the hot new iPhone could run into trouble in France, where a law requiring mobile networks to unlock their phones six months into a contract may prove to be a major problem for Apple ( AAPL). Apple's
going to need European buyers in order to keep the momentum going for its latest device, otherwise investors will be none too pleased. Columnist Brett Arends gets to bottom of whether Apple will be able to cope.