Tomorrow's Headliners: Chevron

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Friday's session marks not only the end of a busy earnings week but the end of July as well, and utility and energy companies' quarterly reports are set to dominate headlines.

July will end when trading stops Friday, although bulls won't be happy to see the calendar turn to August considering how strong the major U.S. averages performed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has surged 720 points this month, having recorded only six losing sessions in July.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite briefly reclaimed the 2000 level thanks to July's gains, and the S&P 500 managed to break through overhead resistance and nearly topped the 1000 mark thanks to the recent rally.

Chevron ( CVX), the last of five components of the Dow to report earnings this week, will certainly influence trading Friday. The energy giant is expected to post a second-quarter profit of 95 cents a share on revenue of $33.41 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. That would be down from year-ago earnings of $2.90 a share on revenue of $82.99 billion.

Even if the analysts are correct, it should come as no surprise that Chevron's earnings would fall so sharply from a year ago. Already this week, fellow Dow component Exxon Mobil ( XOM) reported a 66% tumble in second-quarter profit, while ConocoPhillips ( COP) reported a 76% drop in profit during the recent quarter.

Besides Chevron, other utility and energy companies are on tap to report quarterly results before the start of trading Friday including Dominion ( D), Constellation Energy ( CEG), and American Electric ( AEP).

Turning to the economic calendar, Friday will also bring the latest read on gross domestic product for the second quarter. The advanced reading, due at 8:30 a.m. EDT, is expected to show that GDP fell by 1.5%, an improvement from the 5.5% decline in the first quarter but still a negative number.

At 9:45 a.m. EDT, the Chicago Purchasing Managers index will be released, with economists expecting an improvement to a reading of 42 in July from 39.9 in June.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in New York.

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