Trump holds press conference; Banks report earnings; Rex Tillerson confirmation


— 1) Banks report earnings: Welcome to earnings season.

Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase are set to release their fourth quarter earnings on Friday. All three banks had a strong showing in the third quarter — even Wells Fargo beat Wall Street’s expectations, despite its phony account scandal. So expectations are high.

The so-called Trump rally, which has sent stocks soaring since the election, has been largely carried by financial institutions. That’s because investors expect the Republican to roll back regulations like Dodd-Frank, which would increase the bottom line of big banks. And tax cuts from President-elect Donald Trump and Congress, plus a possible rate hike from the Fed, won’t hurt.

A global trade war, on the other hand, would.

2) Trump press conference: The president-elect says he’ll hold a press conference — his first since July — on Wednesday.

Previously, Trump has said that such a news conference would give him a chance to talk to the media about the future of his businesses. Critics fear that a multitude of conflicts could arise from Trump’s sprawling business entanglements, hampering his judgment when he takes office.

Trump has made efforts to distance himself from his businesses, but it’s not clear how effective they’ll be. He put his three eldest children in charge of the Trump Organization, but they’ve remained a key part of his transition team. Expect some questions about that.

3) Rex Tillerson’s confirmation: On Wednesday, the Senate will decide whether to confirm Rex Tillerson as the next secretary of state.

Members of the senate will likely see the Tillerson’s ties with Russia and his relationship with ExxonMobil — where he served as chief executive until December — as potential conflicts of interest.

Tillerson’s confirmation could be good news for ExxonMobil and other oil giants. If the Trump administration lifts Russian sanctions, ExxonMobil will be able to move forward with deals worth billions of dollars. That would be a boon for the company, which has been struggling to cope with falling oil prices and is facing a lawsuit over climate change.

4) iPhone’s tenth anniversary. Monday marks ten years since Apple first announced the iPhone.

A decade later, there’s a lot of pressure on Apple to deliver with their next device, which is slated to appear on the market in fall of this year. In 2016, Apple announced its first sales decline since 2001. The disappointing year hit CEO Tim Cook’s wallet directly — he took a 15% pay cut last year. And the latest iPhone released in September of last year, received a cool reception.

Maybe some first iPhone nostalgia will do Apple good. If not, there’s always the chance that another exploding Samsung battery will help save the day.

5) Coming this week:

Monday – Tenth anniversary of iPhone announcement; SpaceX scheduled to launch

Tuesday – Obama delivers farewell address

Wednesday – Tillerson confirmation hearing; Trump scheduled to give press conference

Thursday – Delta earnings

Friday – Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo report earnings