Corporate earnings reports and Europe's troubled economies remain on the top of Wall Street's collective mind. Last week, the key averages gained 0.5 percent to 1.4 percent. Futures trading suggests a higher open to start the week.
- International stock markets rallied today as China's still robust growth in the final quarter of 2011 eased fears of an abrupt slowdown in world's second-largest economy. Investor sentiment still faces multiple headwinds - the latest being Standard & Poor's downgrade of the eurozone's rescue fund by one notch to AA+. Benchmark crude oil rose above $100 per barrel.
- This will be a busy, compressed week for economic reports, beginning tomorrow. Among the readings due are those covering inflation, housing starts and home sales.
- China appears on track to avoid an abrupt economic slowdown with possible global repercussions after growth eased to a still robust 8.9 percent in the last quarter of 2011. The expansion in the world's second-largest economy was the slowest in 2 1/2 years but December retail sales and factory output accelerated, data showed Tuesday. Growth in the previous quarter was 9.1 percent. The slowdown was in line with government plans.
- An internal investigation at Olympus Corp. Finds that five current and former auditors are responsible for a combined $109 million in losses linked to the Japanese company's accounting scandal, and plans to sue them. The panel's report released today said it found two accounting firms hired by Olympus as external auditors, had not violated their fiduciary duties.