Investors Hopeful for Dow to Pass Five-Digit Mark

The initial trickle of US corporate earnings reports is expected to become a steady flow during the upcoming week, with stock market investors no doubt focusing their attention on these, looking for indications of economic recovery. Also of interest will be forecasts for the fourth and final quarter of 2009. It is widely accepted that the financial sector has been at the root of the financial crisis, beginning with the collapse of Lehman Brothers a year ago, and third quarter results and fourth quarter forecasts for financial institutions will most likely be scrutinized. JP Morgan Chase is due to release its results on Wednesday, with Goldman Sachs Group, Citigroup and Bank of America following soon after. Investors will be interested to see if consumer loan and mortgage defaults have started to level off, and with commercial real estate loans also starting to take a beating, investors will be cognizant of just how much of a problem this has become. Other stock market listed companies due to report in the next week include SouthWest Airlines, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson and tech-giants Google, Intel and IBM.

Wednesday also sees the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s September 22-23 meeting, which will likely shed some light on the Fed’s plans regarding stimulus measures and the future of interest rates. With the Dow closing on Friday less than 136 points shy of the 10,000 mark if the week’s news is good the Dow may very well pass the 5 digit mark for the first time in a year. It is generally agreed, however, that even if the upcoming week’s news is not up to scratch it is unlikely that stocks will plunge dramatically, but will more than likely pull back between 3 and 5 percent.