Wall Street This Week: Focus on Banking, Homebuilding
Monday -- The Art of Alumninum
Alcoa (AA) kicks off the trading week with its latest quarterly financials on Monday afternoon. The world's third-largest aluminum producer -- Alcoa stands for Aluminum Company of America -- pioneered the industry 125 years ago.
The past couple of years have been rough for some commodities, but aluminum has benefited from the increase in industrial demand as the global economy shows signs of life. Analysts see Alcoa generating nearly $6 billion in revenue for the quarter, up 7 percent from a year earlier. They also are expecting a big jump in profitability. Alcoa has actually blasted through Wall Street's bottom-line estimates for three consecutive quarters, so it's coming into Monday afternoon's report with plenty of positive momentum.
Tuesday -- On the House
The housing market's recovery has been strong, but there are signs of slowing. Housing starts and building permits actually declined in November, and with interest rates possibly heading higher, it will be a challenge for homebuilders to continue thriving.
We'll get a great snapshot of the industry this week. KB Home (KBH) reports on Tuesday. Lennar (LEN) follows a couple of days later. Analysts see a strong report out of both real estate developers: They see double-digit growth on both ends of the income statements. The future is the real concern. Investors will want to know about new orders, cancellation rates of existing orders, and any visibility that the homebuilders can offer.
Wednesday -- You Can Take It to the Bank
Earnings season kicks off in force on Wednesday with JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) reporting. The rest of the "too big to fail" financial icons will follow, with Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC) chiming in on Thursday. Goldman Sachs (GS) reports on Friday.
The flurry of reports will give investors a great read on the state of big banking. The industry has been clawing its way out of the subprime mortgage mess that derailed not just the industry but the global economy several years ago. By the end of the week we'll have a good read on how the financial services sector is holding up.
Thursday -- Intel Inside
Intel (INTC) used to be the ultimate tech bellwether. If folks were snapping up PCs, you would be able to tell by checking up on Intel as the leading provider of microprocessors. Intel then found a feisty adversary in AMD (AMD), but more important, we saw smartphones and tablets explode in popularity at the expense of traditional desktops and laptops.
Intel has found ways to matter in the mobile computing revolution, and it's been generally working. Analysts see revenue climbing 6 percent at Intel, in line with how it has performed through the first three quarters of 2014.
Friday -- Fall in the Family
Netflix (NFLX) has started to pick up the pace with its proprietary content. January may seem like small potatoes sandwiched between last month's "Marco Polo" and next month's return of "House of Cards," but it's still a busy slate for the leading premium video service.
Friday will bring the second season of "The Fall," a BBC crime drama series set in Northern Ireland starring Gillian Anderson, to Netflix's growing catalog of available content. Netflix remains the undisputed top dog in this game, but naturally it needs to keep investing to keep its content fresh.
Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Netflix. The Motley Fool recommends Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Intel, Netflix and Wells Fargo. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, Citigroup Inc, Intel, JPMorgan Chase, Netflix and Wells Fargo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. Is your portfolio ready for what the new year has to offer? Check out our free report for one great stock to buy for 2015 and beyond.