Five Things We're Watching: April 6, 2011

Key earnings bookends, the red hot rental market, and everyone's favorite toxic assets. Here's what we're watching…

The Mind of Dimon: As early as Wednesday, JPMorgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon will release his annual letter. His comments will surely include pointed criticism of an environment of perceived over-regulation. Banks will be digesting the effects of the Dodd-Frank legislation for years and, as recently as today, Dimon questioned the economic hindrance caused by Basel III capital requirements. JPMorgan Chase shares have been on a good run thus far in 2011, and the company will report quarterly earnings on April 13.

Jamie Dimon
Jamie Dimon

Tale of Two Earnings: Get ready for the frenzy of earnings season beginning next with a pair of key companies reporting Wednesday. Before the opening bell, agricultural giant Monsanto is due to release quarterly results. Analysts anticipate earnings per share of $1.85. Retailer Bed Bath & Beyond reports earnings after the market close, with consensus EPS estimate at 97 cents a share. Both will be key drivers in what's been a quiet stock market the past few days.

Auctioning Maiden Lane: Final bids are due at 1:00pm ET Wednesday in the first round of rolling auctions for the New York Fed's Maiden Lane II portfolio (also known as AIG's formerly toxic assets). AIG made its pitch to the New York Fed last week, with a bid for the securities outright. That bid was rejected and with the auction process in place, the famously soured assets will go to the winning bidders.

From the Gridiron to the Courtroom: It's not as fun as heading to your local sports bar on a Sunday, but football fans have a lot riding on a Wednesday hearing in St. Paul, where District Judge Susan Richard Nelson hears arguments on a request by players for an injunction to lift the lockout. The hearing begins at 10:30am ET. If the players win, the 2011 season should be saved, while both sides negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement.

The Rental Boom: Most of us don't need to be reminded of continued weakness in housing. But, the rental market, by comparison, is soaring. Despite high rents and low home prices, the lack of consumer confidence is still pushing Americans away from buying and towards renting. On Wednesday, REIS releases its quarterly apartment vacancy/rent report, illustrating the disparity.