NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Citigroup ( C) has made things even more interesting, but Goldman Sachs ( GS) would have been the headliner on Wednesday anyway. The financial titan reports its quarterly results at 8 a.m. ET and will likely knock the ball out of the park as Lloyd Blankfein & Co. rarely disappoint. One area of concern is fixed income trading, which could come in on the lower end of the range, similar to what was seen with Citigroup. On the flip side, the IPO calendar was very active at the end of the year and Goldman was a part of most deals, so there should be some nice news from the equity underwriting department. Expect some restraint on employee compensation. Goldman's faithful still enjoy sweet bonuses but it's doubtful we'll see a crazy number on that line item. A topic of conversation on the conference call could be the Facebook fiasco the company is currently dealing with following reports it's only offering shares in the private social network to its international clients. How many customers do you think called Goldman to ask how they could be listed as an international client? Can I open an account and list the Cabo house as the address? On the serious side of things, one key thing to listen for may be some color on the municipal bond story -- just how bad is it? Beyond Goldman, there's a full slate of bank earnings on the way. Wells Fargo ( WFC), one of the big four, is set to disclose its numbers, along with State Street ( STT), U.S. Bancorp ( USB), PacWest Bancorp ( PACW), Northwest Bancshares ( NWBI), and Hudson City Bancorp ( HCBK) all report their quarterly results on Wednesday. All eyes will be zeroed in on loan losses: Are they up or down? How much are the Fannie Mae putbacks affecting the banks? What is going on with fees? There is a great deal of focus on the regional banks as they are seen as takeover candidates. Many are well run and have stable balance sheets making them ideal entities to buy. Focus on slow loan growth and the response to the changing regulatory environment.
Of course, there will be plenty of reaction to late Tuesday's round of reports. Shares of Apple ( AAPL) and IBM ( IBM) were higher in after-hours trading but Cree ( CREE) tumbled after missing Wall Street's expectations and giving a poor outlook. On the economic front, housing starts and building permits hit the tape at 8:30 a.m. ET. The housing index has been flat for the last three months so don't bet a cup of coffee that these numbers will be surprisingly good. The weather has been awful with snow in almost every state. At least there's a good chance an awful number will get lost amongst the earnings reports. Meantime, Nintendo ( NTDOY) launches its 3DS product during an all-day event in New York on Wednesday. At one time the company ruled the handheld game market and seemed to singlehandedly keep Gamestop ( GME) in business. But the onslaught of smart phones with their ability to compete with cool downloadable games has thrown cold water on the once hot product. Older teens and adults prefer to use Apple iPhones or iTouches for portable gaming, leaving the Nintendo to the younger crowd. On top of this trend, Nintendo is warning that kids under 6 should not use 3D games. Hmm... this presents a bit of a problem. The price point is rumored to be $299, pricey for a toy that is mostly used to keep kids entertained in the back seat of a car. Then we'll have eBay's ( EBAY) results after the closing bell. While the headlines will focus on sales figures, it's really more about PayPal. PayPal keeps gaining market share outside of eBay and it will be interesting to see how much non-eBay volume has grown. Then there's the Durbin amendment on interchange fees on debit transactions. Rest assured analysts on the conference call will be asking how that will affect the company. -- Written by Debra Borchardt in New York.