What Could Move the Dow This Week

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) gained nearly 200 points last week, to finish at 13,228. The four-day run up was enough to push the blue chips 36 points from their highest close since 2007. Strong earnings and good news out of the housing market overcame a disappointing first-quarter GDP figure and trouble out of Europe with the U.K. and Spain slipping into recession.

Let's take a look at events that are likely to drive markets over the coming the week.

Two Dow stocks will report earnings: pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (NYS: PFE) on Tuesday, and Kraft (NYS: KFT) on Thursday. Pfizer shareholders will gain insight into sales of newer drugs such as Inylta, which treats kidney cancer, as the company deals with the consequences of having Lipitor, the most profitable drug in the industry's history, come off patent. Pfizer also announced just last week that it will sell its infant-nutrition division to Nestle for $11.85 billion, a move that should also merit some attention on the call. Analysts are anticipating EPS of $0.56 for the quarter. Meanwhile, rival Merck (NYS: MRK) got some good news Friday, when a court upheld a patent on its cholesterol drugs, Zetia and Vytorin. The two drugs contributed more than $1 billion in sales in the company's first quarter.


Meanwhile, Kraft baffled market-watchers recently when it announced that it will change its name to Mondelez, a portmanteau of "monde" and "delicious", after it spins off its grocery division. The new name will strictly be a corporate moniker, not to be featured prominently on packaging the way "Kraft" is on some products now. Analysts are eyeing a profit of $0.56 a share.

Finally, on Friday, the always-important employment report arrives. New unemployment claims have been higher than expected recently, which many see as a negative sign for job growth, especially after March's disappointing addition of 120,000 jobs. The market is eyeing 162,000 new non-farm jobs for April, and the unemployment rate is expected to hold at 8.2%. That level of job growth is still well short of new jobs added in December, January, and February, which came in over 200,000 each month.

One last item of note to investors: JPMorgan Chase (NYS: JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon has arranged for a group of big-bank CEOs to meet with Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo, who heads regulation for the central bank. The Wednesday meeting is likely to center on a recent Fed proposal to restrict the banks' exposure to governments and other firms. In a letter sent to the Fed on Friday, the banks said the Fed is being overzealous in its policies on credit exposure and capital standards.

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At the time this article was published Fool contributorJeremy Bowmanholds no positions in the companies in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Pfizer. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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