Stocks: Investors brace for turbulence

July 15, 2011: 12:36 PM ET
U.S. stock market

Stocks have steadily declined since early May due to the recent wave of bad economic data. Click the chart for more market information.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Stocks could be volatile this week as the economic fallout of Friday's jobs report will continue to weigh heavily on investors' minds.

This week's trading agenda is thin on economic reports and corporate earnings. Notable pieces of data include the Federal Reserve's "Beige Book" on Wednesday and weekly jobless claims on Thursday.

But last week's bad news will likely set the tone for investors. May's jobs report fell way short of expectations, and other data, such as the Institute for Supply Management's closely-watched manufacturing survey, have also disappointed. The Dow fell nearly 3% last week.

Portfolio managers said with this recent wave of bad economic data and a sparse agenda ahead, now is not the time to be putting risk into a portfolio.

"We need to digest the past couple of weeks and debate the reasons why we're seeing this slowdown," said Bob Doll, chief equity strategist with the large investment and advisory firm BlackRock. "Is this slowdown temporary, or is there something more fundamental that should be a cause of concern?"

Still a BBQ recovery: Low and slow

The Dow fell for a fifth-straight week last week, its longest week-over-week decline since July 2004. But despite the drop, the market still has some resiliency left, with the Dow up slightly less than 5% for the year and the S&P 500 up 3.4%.

Ongoing developments out of Europe could also impact trading. News reports Friday said Greece may be in line to receive additional aid from its European Union partners, after credit agency Moody's downgraded Greece's debt last week.

"If the news in Europe flares up, we could see increased volatility, especially when we're light on economic data this week," said David Levy, portfolio manager with Kenjol Capital Management.

But there is still reason to be optimistic about the long-term potential for stocks this year, since corporate earnings have far outpaced the economy, Doll said.

"The investors need to focus on the U.S. stock market, which you can see has done a whole heck of a lot better than the U.S. economy," he said.

With earnings season next month, the next couple weeks are typically the time companies warn investors that their results may come in above or below expectations.

On the Docket

Monday: Technology investors will be monitoring Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) CEO Steve Jobs' keynote speech at the Worldwide Developers Conference in California, scheduled to start at approximately 1 p.m. ET. Jobs is expected to unveil a new Apple cloud computing music service and possibly a new version of the iPhone.

Tuesday: On Tuesday is the Federal Reserve's April consumer credit report, released at 3 p.m. ET.

Wednesday: The Federal Reserve will release its "Beige Book" at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday. The book is a collection of economic anecdotal observations by the Fed's 12 regional banks and is used by the central banks as part of their decision making regarding interest rates.

The good news on weak jobs

Thursday: The Labor Department will release its weekly initial jobless claims report at 8:30 a.m. ET, which investors said will likely be the closest-watched piece of economic data this week. Economists are looking for jobless claims to rise slightly to 423,000.

Also out on Thursday is the U.S. April trade balance figures, which are expected to show a $48.7 billion trade deficit, and April wholesale inventory figures. Economists expect wholesale inventories rose 0.9%, according to Briefing.com

Friday: Investors will get May's import and export prices from the Commerce Department at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect import prices rose 0.6% last month while export prices rose 1%. To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,356.87 288.00 1.69%
Nasdaq 4,644.31 96.48 2.12%
S&P 500 2,012.89 40.15 2.04%
Treasuries 2.15 0.08 3.72%
Data as of 8:04am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 17.26 0.00 0.00%
Apple Inc 109.41 2.66 2.50%
Cisco Systems Inc 26.81 0.22 0.85%
Microsoft Corp 45.74 0.58 1.28%
Halliburton Co 39.44 1.33 3.49%
Data as of Dec 17
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