In addition to all the various unknown events that will happen this week, we know of 3 events this week that are almost certain to move markets.
The first is Apple earnings. They come out on Tuesday, and because Apple occupies such a big place in indices like the NASDAQ and the S&P 500, the company’s earnings are by definition market moving. The stock has been diving lately, badly underperforming the S&P 500, and at the same time, analysts keep cranking up their earnings expectations. That all comes to a head this week.
Then in the middle of the week, we get an FOMC meeting. Nothing is expected to change policy-wise, but on Wednesday, the Fed will release new economic projections and Bernanke will give a press conference. Given the amount of interest in whether there will be QE3, this is going to be scrutinized heavily. The economic projections will be particularly interesting. Each FOMC member will give their outlook on the economy, and it may be an opportunity for the hawks to signal that things are getting better to the point where a rise in rates will soon be necessary.
Finally on Friday we get the first pass at Q1 GDP. Estimates have been rising lately on this number, though part of that is simply due to increased inventories. The official estimate is for a 2.6% print, down from 3.0% in Q4 of last year.