After a rough week on Wall Street, investors will turn their attention to more earnings reports and economic data next week, hoping to find a catalyst to ignite the moribund stock market.
Topping the list of crucial data is the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index for March.
The Consumer Confidence Index, which is based on a survey of 5,000 U.S. households, fell to 106.8 in February, down from 115.7 in January. The index has declined in each of the past five months, and Wall Street is expecting the March number to dip to 105.
Wall Street will also get the final Gross Domestic Product figures for the fourth quarter after initial reports showed the value of all goods and services produced in the United states grew 1.1 percent between October and December, the slowest pace in more than five years.
Meanwhile, at least four prominent technology companies report earnings next week:
Micron Technology will finally report its second-quarter earnings next week after delaying the report earlier last week in order to collect financial data from Micron Electronics, the PC maker that's now getting out of the box business following its $130 million merger with Web hosting company Interland.
Manugistics will check in with its fourth-quarter results next week. Analysts are expecting a profit of 5 cents a share on sales of $81.2 million.
Palm, the maker of handheld computers, is expected to turn a third-quarter profit of a penny a share on sales of $474 million. Last quarter, it earned $27.5 million, or 5 cents a share, on sales of $522.2 million.
Tech Data also will report its fourth-quarter numbers next week. The computer equipment distributor is expected to earn about 86 cents per share.
- Gartner will host the Wireless Access, Mobile Business Conference at the Sheraton San Diego
Hotel and Marina on March 26-28. The conference will focus on businesses
uses of wireless communications. Keynote speakers include Lisa Smith of
First Union, and Geoffrey Frost, Motorola's vice president of Global
- Microsoft will host WinHEC 2001
at the Anaheim Convention Center on March 26-28. The conference is intended
for software developers, IT executives, and engineers who work with
Microsoft PC products. Speakers will include Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates
and Compaq CEO Michael Cappellas.
- AFCOM will kick off its Spring conference and expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center on March
26-29. The event is geared toward data center professionals and features
educational sessions and presentations by BMC Software and Compaq.
- The International Symposium on
Quality Electronic Design will take place at the DoubleTree Hotel in San
Jose, Calif., on March 26-29. The event is an electronic design and
design-automation conference. Keynote speakers include Hajime Sasaki,
chairman of NEC; Joe Costello, CEO of think3; Raul Camposano, CTO of
Synopsys; and Edward Ross, president of TSMC USA.
- TechEd01 will take
place at the Ontario Convention Center in Ontario, Calif., March 26-29. The
event is a forum for educators to learn about how technology can enhance
education. Keynote speakers include John Morgridge, chairman of Cisco
- EDventure Holdings will hold PC Forum 2001 at the
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Scottsdale, Ariz., March 25-28. The event will
address business issues in the Internet industry and features speakers such
as Amazon.com CEO Jeffrey Bezos, RealNetworks CEO Robert Glaser, Exodus
Communications CEO Ellen Hancock, and Commerce One CEO Mark Hoffman.
- The USENIX Symposium on
Internet Technologies and Systems runs March 26-28 at the Cathedral
Hotel in San Francisco. The event features presentations and discussions on
Internet software and technology. Speakers include Scott Guthery, CTO of
Mobile-Mind and Mike Burrows of Compaq, a developer of the Alta Vista search
Tuesday, March 27
- A Plenary
Meeting of the trade group GSM Association will take place in Seattle,
Wash., March 27-29. The meeting will provide the opportunity for attendees
to discuss the status and policy direction of wireless standards. The
opening address will be given by John Stanton, chairman of VoiceStream Wireless.
- Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and Treasury Secretary Paul
O'Neill will speak at the sold-out 2001 Washington Economic Policy
Conference, which focuses on macroeconomic policies and economic
implications. The event will take place at the Capital Hilton, Washington,
D.C., and is hosted by the National Association for Business Economics and
the Association for University Business Economic Research.
- Market Access International will hold a conference on the
Clinger-Cohen Act at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade
Center in Washington, D.C. The 1996 law gave guidelines for government
agencies to follow when transitioning to the use of information technology
and the conference will explore the results of the legislation.
- International Conference Development will hold eTail Solutions World
Forum in Chicago on March 27-29. The conference is for organizations
seeking to expand or improve their online retail business. Speakers include
Bill Price, vice president and general manager of customer service at
Wednesday, March 28
- NewYork eComm will host Wireless
2001: Strategies & Predictions at the Marriot Marquis Hotel in New York
City on March 28. Speakers include Shun Mishima, of NTT DoCoMo; David Joerg,
president and co-founder of Vindigo; and Jeffrey Fieler, managing director
of Internet research at Bear Stearns.
- Venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and angel investors will converge on
the Digital Coast
Venture Capital Summit in Santa Monica, Calif., on March 28-29. The
event will address trends in the current investment climate.
- The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in The New York Times v.
Tasini, a case that could determine whether publishers have to compensate freelancers for
distributing their print articles in electronic form.
Friday, March 30
- Columbia Women in Business
Conference will take place in Lerner Hall at Columbia University in New
York City. The event provides a discussion forum for women executives to
tackle issues relevant to women pursuing careers in international business.
Tuesday, March 27
- SpeedFam-IPEC makes equipment that polishes
semiconductors during the manufacturing process. Per-share consensus
estimate for the fiscal third quarter: loss of 39 cents.
- Palm makes personal handheld computers for organizing
information. Per-share consensus estimate for the fiscal third quarter:
profit of 1 cent.
- Cabletron Systems makes networking equipment. Per-share
consensus estimate for the fiscal fourth quarter: profit of 5 cents.
- Global TeleSystems provides retail and wholesale phone
service to customers in Europe. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth
quarter: loss of 84 cents.
- Tech Data distributes computer products. Per-share
consensus estimate for the fiscal fourth quarter: profit of 86 cents.
- Corel makes software based on the Linux operating
system. Per-share consensus estimate for the fiscal first quarter: profit of
- Liberty Media Group is a holding company that owns stakes in media brands including USA Networks, News Corp., and the Discovery Channel. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: loss of 8 cents.
Mon, March 26
- The National Association of Realtors reports Existing Home Sales,
a monthly tally that represents the number of homes sold nationwide.
Economists watch such data for indications of the strength of housing demand
and of the overall economy. Economists expect home sales to dip to 5.04
million in February from 5.13 million the previous month.
- The Commerce Department will release New Home Sales figures for
February, which represents the number of new homes sold in the United
States. Analysts expect sales to slip to 912,000 from 921,000 in January.
- Durable Goods Orders represent the change in the number of big
ticket items, like washing machines and refrigerators, purchased in a month.
Orders are expected to rise 0.5 percent in February compared to the previous
month's decline of 6 percent.
- The Conference Board compiles a monthly report on Consumer
Confidence. Wall Street expects the index to fall to 105.0 in March from
last month's 106.8.
- Initial Claims measures the number of people who filed for
unemployment benefits each week as reported by the Department of Labor.
Claims will be reported for the week of March 24.
- The Commerce Department will report final Gross Domestic Product
numbers for the fourth quarter of 2000. GDP represents the nation's total
output of goods and services. The government previously reported that GDP
rose 1.1 percent for the fourth quarter.
- The Help-Wanted Index for the month of February is a monthly survey by
the Conference Board of the volume of help-wanted advertising in major
national newspapers. In January, the index fell to 76 from December's 79.
The index was at 88 in February, 2000.
- Personal Income shows the monthly percentage change in household
income from the Commerce Department. This number is expected to rise 0.4
percent for February compared to the previous month's increase of 0.6
- The Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index is a measure of consumer
confidence as reported monthly by the University of Michigan. Analysts
expect revised numbers for March to fall to 90.5 from the preliminary March
reading of 91.8. The February index was 90.6.