The Fed, turmoil in Egypt, rising crude oil prices and all of the other issues we've been talking about in recent weeks, now take a back seat to corporate earnings. That and more are what's in business news Monday.
The Dow industrials (^DJI) rose 1.5 percent last week, the S&P 500 (^GPSC) gained 1.6 percent and the Nasdaq (^IXIC) jumped more than 2 percent.
Alcoa (AA) kicks off the second-quarter earnings season after Monday's closing bell. Alcoa shares have been under pressure ever since Moody's lowered its rating on the company's debt to junk status in late May. The stock is down 10 percent so far this year.
Later in the week, we'll hear from banking giants JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC).
A big boost for Dell (DELL) founder Michael Dell and his bid to take the computer maker private. The influential advisory firm ISS says shareholders should accept his $24 billion offer over a competing bid from Carl Icahn.
We're keeping an eye on Boeing (BA), builder of the 777 jet that crashed in San Francisco over the weekend. The plane has a very good safety record since it was introduced in 1995. The accident comes just as Boeing prepares to launch a new, more fuel-efficient model of the 777.
UnitedHealth Group (UNH) may be better positioned to benefit from the rollout of President Obama's health-care reform than rivals such as Aetna (AET) and Cigna (CI). According to Barron's, the stock could gain 40 percent over the next two years. Last week, UnitedHealth traded at its highest level in more than five years.
Walt Disney's (DIS) big budget film, "The Lone Ranger," turned in a disappointing performance over the five-day holiday weekend. It earned less than $50 million at the box office. The movie cost $250 million to make.
Despite the Disney disappointment, this is shaping up as a great season for the movie industry, especially theater owners such as Regal Entertainment (RGC) and Cinemark (CNK). According to boxofficemojo.com, ticket sales are up 14 percent so far this year, the best gain in more than a decade.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg
Ways to Make Money on the Side
Market Minute: Alcoa Kicks Off Earnings Season; Investors Eye Boeing
PA for a day gives users the opportunity to hire a temporary personal assistant to do office work, run errands, walk pets, or do dozens of other jobs. While the website is great for harried professionals, it may be even better for workers looking to bring home a paycheck on a flexible schedule. If you're looking for a good-paying, short-term job where you can set your own schedule, why not drop them a line?
Are you good at putting together IKEA furniture? Do you have time to pick up a Craigslist item? Are you willing to go grocery shopping for someone else? If you answered yes to any of these questions, maybe you should think about joining TaskRabbit, a website where you can submit bids to do odd jobs. Depending on the task -- and on the area where you live -- you can make more than $40 per job.
Can you do a good celebrity voice imitation? Are you willing to film yourself wearing a hot dog suit and singing "Happy Birthday"? Are you a good artist? On Fiverr.com, "the world's largest marketplace for small services," you can transform your cool skills into cool cash. Basically, you create a listing with the skill that you are willing to offer, set a price (usually $5 and up), and work on finding clients.
At this point, Etsy is hardly a moneymaking secret, but most people don't realize how easy it is to turn the do-it-yourself marketplace into a thriving business. As our earlier article on Fifty Shades of Grey demonstrated, the site makes it easy for an enterprising DIY-er to piggyback onto the latest pop culture trend.
If you've ever wanted the joy of hanging out with a dog, but didn't want to sign on for the long-term commitment, you might consider joining Dog Vacay. The website pairs dog owners with dog lovers who are willing to babysit them for a short term. Prices start at $15 per night, but "hosts" can set their own rates. You're also allowed to take care of up to three dogs at a time, which means that -- if you're looking for a way to make some money on the side and don't mind sharing your couch with a furry friend -- this might be a great way to get some extra bucks.