After sharp selloffs in China prompted a spike in volatility for risk assets across the globe, many investors would just as rather forget the first week of 2016. As earnings season gets underway for large-cap U.S. equities, the corporate sector will again take center stage in the days ahead alongside major macroeconomic data releases in China, Europe and the U.S. With the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, a celebration in the Philippines to mark the warm welcome that a community received when they fled their home centuries ago will be particularly poignant.
Monday, January 11: Traditionally, the financial results announcement from Alcoa has marked the beginning of each earnings season. Now that the iconic aluminum producer has separated into two distinct units, the fiscal 2015 fourth-quarter earnings for the core industrial unit are expected to suffer a year-over-year decline on continued weak demand in China. Consensus analyst forecasts are for the company to reveal earnings of 3 cents a share versus 33 cents EPS in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Tuesday, January 12: November The U.K. Office for National Statistics releases November industrial production numbers. Activity increased by 0.1 percent month-over-month in October, largely on the back of increased mining activity. The segment rose 8.5 percent, while manufacturing segments contracted. Historic shifts within the mining industry are underway nonetheless, with Kellingley Colliery in North Yorkshire, the U.K.s last remaining deep coal mine, shuttering last month.
Wednesday, January 13: China December trade balance data from the General Administration of Customs is expected to show further declines for both imports and exports after a disappointing November release. Presidential candidate Donald Trump has stated that he favors applying tariffs of up to 45 percent on imports from China to address the trade imbalance between the U.S. and China.
Thursday, January 14: An earnings announcement by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. will kick off the cycle of reports from major banks and asset managers this season. Analyst expectations are somewhat mixed for the final three months of 2015, with strong performance expected from merger advisory and wealth management segments and continued weakness in some trading divisions. The bank has become the latest major company to announce that it will not send a press release with results via newswires, with the hopes of preventing the premature revelations of recent quarters.
Friday, January 15: The U.S. Census Bureau releases December retail sales data. Consensus forecasts point to a strong showing for the 2015 holiday shopping season especially in light of the 7.9 annualized gain reported by MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse with online sales particularly brisk. Analysts are particularly hopeful that the pace of purchases for big-ticket items picked up as improving employment data lent U.S. consumers more confidence to splurge.
Saturday, January 16: Kalibo, a provincial capital in the Philippines, plays host to Ati-Atihan, a colorful celebration of the welcome that Malaysian refugees from Borneo received in the 13th century from the Ati tribe of the Philippines Islands in the 13th century. The nine-day festival, which in the country holds the legal title of "The Mother of All Philippine Festivals," features revelers in traditional Ati garb, dance parties that run late into the night and a torch-lit procession that blends Ati customs with Roman Catholic traditions.