Patti Domm is CNBC executive news editor, responsible for news coverage of the markets and economy. Prior to joining CNBC in 1999 as senior news editor, Domm was the equities editor for the Americas at Reuters. She was also Wall Street editor at Reuters, reporting on mergers, acquisitions and the Street. She also edited three CNBC books on personal investing. Domm serves on the board of the Financial Womens Association of New York.
Bank of America and General Electric are two heavy weights whose earnings should steer stocks into Friday's opening bell.
Google has beaten analyst earnings estimates three out of four earnings periods, and its stock typically opens higher after a beat, but the bulk of its gains are made immediately following its report in after-hours trading, according to Birinyi Associates.
Stocks had their worst day in nearly two months Wednesday and could hit more bumps Thursday.
A new report from Goldman Sachs economists shows that they believe food inflation in the United States could pick up to about 5 percent by mid-year, from a level of 1 percent in the past year, based on current commodity prices. That could contribute about 0.5 percent to the headline Consumer Price Index.
As stocks climb to multi-year highs, investors are increasingly expecting a pull back, despite the promise of a good earnings season.
Friday's market should feel the positive afterglow from Intel's strong earnings report Thursday, though the day could be decided by JPMorgan Chase's fourth quarter results and a batch of important economic data.
U.S. economic reports should dominate early trading Thursday, unless the European debt crisis bubbles up again.
The promise of a decent fourth-quarter earnings season and another week of improving U.S. economic data could provide a tailwind for stocks. But a new round of European sovereign issuance awaits as investors move into the week ahead.
A good many economists agree that American companies are on the verge of ramping up hiring, even as they disagree on how many jobs were created last month.
Traders will be on the lookout for any signs of overseas weakness seeping into U.S. economy after surprisingly soft job growth.
IPO market flashing warning signs
Traders will likely do after the disappointing jobs data what they have been doing for the past six weeks or so: nothing.
Stocks sank and investors ran to Treasurys after a disappointing jobs report pushed off expectations for a Fed rate hike into 2016.
Patti Domm is CNBC Executive Editor, News, responsible for news coverage of the markets and economy.
A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Senior Producer - Breaking News
Dominic Chu is a markets reporter for CNBC.
Evelyn Cheng is a markets writer for CNBC.
Sara Eisen is a correspondent for CNBC, focusing on currencies and the global consumer.