Earnings reports from JPMorgan Chase ( JPM), IBM ( IBM) and Google ( GOOG) will be in the spotlight Thursday. However, investors will have plenty of other news to sift through, including the latest read on initial jobless claims and testimony from former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. JPMorgan shares rallied Wednesday leading up to the bank's second-quarter report. A Thomson Reuters poll shows analysts expect
JPMorgan to notch a profit of 4 cents a share, although better-than-expected earnings from Goldman Sachs ( GS) earlier this week has some investors wondering whether the bank can also outperform estimates. Nokia ( NOK), Biogen Idec ( BIIB), Harley-Davidson ( HOG) and Marriott International ( MAR) are also scheduled report before Thursday's open. After the closing bell, tech giants IBM and Google will headline earnings reports. Both companies are expected to say that second-quarter earnings rose from a year ago. However, Google is expected to say revenue increased 4% from a year ago, while IBM should say quarterly sales fell about 12% year over year. Away from earnings, Henry Paulson will tell the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that he did threaten to remove Bank of America's ( BAC) management if it walked away from the Merrill Lynch deal, according to prepared remarks. In his testimony, Paulson deems his threat to replace the bank's leaders as "appropriate" because their invocation of a Material Adverse Change, or MAC, clause would have shown "a colossal lack of judgment." However, Paulson will tell the committee that he did not advise the CEO to hide any information from shareholders, and that he believed that BofA scrapping the Merrill deal would have caused havoc for the broad financial system.
On the economic front, the Labor Department will release weekly jobless claims data at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Economists expect the number to fall to about 552,000 claims from 565,000 last week, although revisions will likely come into play. At 9 a.m. EDT, the Treasury Department will issue its monthly international capital report. Later, at 10 a.m. EDT, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve will post it's the July reading for its manufacturing index, which should worsen to -5 from -2.2 in June, according to economists polled by Reuters. In other news, Freddie Mac ( FRE) will announce weekly U.S. mortgage rates, while RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosure properties, will release its midyear foreclosure report. Separately, the Treasury will make its weekly announcement of 3- and 6-month bill offerings.