With the jobs report out of the way, it's time to look ahead. Two developments next week may impact markets: 1) China economic data, and 2) the start of the analyst conference season.
Next week there will be a raft of China data that will get a high degree of scrutiny, including Trade (9/8), CPI/PPI (9/9) and Retail Sales (9/12).
Any signs of stability there might calm the Chinese market.
More importantly for U.S. stocks, the analyst conference season begins. This is not normally a big market mover, but with the global uncertainty traders will be looking for comments from CEOs on the state of their business for guidance in pricing stocks.
Read More 6 reasons the bear market has just begun
This will be the first time many tech, industrial, and financial companies will have the chance to address investors since their conference calls, which were several months ago.
Here's three examples coming up:
1) Citigroup Global Tech Conference, September 8-10 in New York. This is one of the premier tech conferences of the year. Richard Templeton, CEO of Texas Instruments, will give the luncheon address; execs from Intel will update on the PC business. There will also be presentations from Alibaba, Yahoo,Microsoft, Micron, and STMicro.
3) Citigroup Industrials Conference, September 16-17, Boston.
Analyst conferences are competitive affairs, with often three or more occurring simultaneously in the same industry. For example, the Citigroup Industrial Conference will also compete with conferences from Morgan Stanley and RBC.
These conferences are important because analysts are clearly worried about the second half earnings outlook.
Expectations that the second half would see a significant turnaround in the first half's dismal performance—Q2 earnings were down 0.7 percent, revenues down 3.4 percent, according to Factset—are not materializing.
Q3 S&P 500 Earnings Expectations
There are a lot of variables in sector earnings estimates this season, far more than usual. Here are three examples:
1) Energy: down 61 percent. That's not a typo! Earnings declines continue in energy, as there are few signs of an end to the supply glut, with a stunning 61% decline in earnings expected compared to the same period last year.
2) Industrial earnings are expected to decline 7 percent because many get significant earnings overseas and the global economy remains weak.
3) Financials: up 9 percent. Bank earnings—one of the expected drivers of earnings in the second half--were expected to have significant earnings improvement due partly to higher rates. But those rates have not materialized, so traders are eager to hear about loan growth from CEOs.
If there is no growth there, bank earnings expectations will have to come down.