1) A number of big U.S. companies will give us insight into the U.S. — and global — economies next week. Here's what's on my radar screen:
Monday: CSX annual meeting
Tuesday: GE* Investor day, AMR bankruptcy hearing
Thursday: FedEx earnings; investor meetings for Honeywell and United Technologies ; Zynga IPO (expected to price 100 million shares at $8.50-$10)
2) speaking of earningswarnings — everyone is focused on the immediacy of the euro crisis, but there's been less emphasis on what we still have to deal with: a world with slowing growth and contraction.
Dupont sees de-stocking and slower economic growth, Lattice Semi , big in wireless and video chips, talks of softening demand in communication, Texas Instrument talks of weak demand, Altera , big in telecom and wireless, lowers revenues.
3) Washington: a) Congress is likely to make a decision on extension of the payroll tax cut, b) the Federal Reserve meeting is Tuesday.
4) dividend increases. GE and Waste Management (WM) both raise dividend today. Been a good year for dividends...payments up 17 percent in the S&P 500, and almost back to the historic highs back in June 2008.
Still, some high dividend paying stocks — a huge play earlier in the year — have not panned out as investments. The big cahuna in this space — AT&T , with a nearly 6 percent dividend yield — should announce next week, but it has been one of the weaker performers in the Dow, down about 2 percent this year.
Others have done much better. Verizon with a yield of 5.2 percent, up 7.2 percent, Lilly , with a 5 percent dividend yield, up 12 percent.
* GE maintains a minority ownership of NBCUniversal, CNBC's corporate parent.
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