NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The vacation is over for bank stock investors, with January promising to be a busy month.
Here are five things to watch:
1. Earnings season kicks off next week, with JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) reporting fourth quarter results on Jan. 14, followed by Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C) later in the week.
The fourth quarter is expected to be ho-hum for banks, with a modest rise in loan growth, weaker fixed income trading revenues, strong investment banking fees, declining mortgage banking revenues and continuing improvements in credit.
The impact of the Volcker rule would probably be the focus of conference calls for the larger, universal banks. The outlook for legal costs and efforts to reduce expenses will also be discussed.
2. Outside of earnings, investors can expect a "blizzard of political activity" in January, according to KBW analysts Brian Gardner and Michael Michaud. These events could shape the regulatory and political environment for banks in the coming year.
Starting on Monday, the Senate will vote on Janet Yellen's confirmation as chair of the Federal Reserve. That is expected to be an easy confirmation.
The analysts also note that there will be several personnel moves at the Fed this month. Later this month, the Senate is expected to confirm Stanley Fischer as vice chair of the Fed, succeeding Yellen. The White House may also announce nominations to fill two vacant seats on the Fed's board this month.