Weekend Reading: More Churning


Good Sunday morning, and welcome to another edition of Weekend Reading. First, a look back at the week that just finished, then a look forward to the week ahead and, finally, a summary of articles and papers worth reading.

It was the first down week in ages for most of the major markets, even if the Nasdaq didn't go along. (See table below.) Nervousness about banks, weak earnings and a slowing of recent gains -- which have taken the markets up 25%-plus -- were all causes.

Next week looks like more of the churning same. We face more earnings reports, more chatter around the bank stress tests, a teetering auto sector, capital raises and a host of economic indicators. While that doesn't mean that the market will weaken materially, it does mean -- when combined with much higher equity levels -- that we likely will churn in place for a spell.

Turning to economic indicators, next week we will see the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, the Conference Board's April consumer confidence reading and the first-quarter GDP number. Other data set to be released include weekly jobless claims, March personal income and spending, and a report from the Institute for Supply Management on manufacturing activity.

As for earnings, the coming week will bring reports from Exxon Mobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX), Pfizer (PFE), Verizon (VZ), Procter & Gamble (PG), Viacom (VIA), Clorox (CLX), Kellogg (K) and Colgate-Palmolive (CL).

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