Will stocks break out of their rut?

January 26, 2014: 9:29 AM ET
Dow YTD
Stocks haven't performed well this year, but can they reverse course this week?
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Last week was one of the roughest in more than a year for investors, but will stocks bounce back this week?

Investors will be closely watching a barrage of big events that will determine whether the rally can get back on track or send the market even lower.

Corporate earnings, economic data, the Federal Reserve and President Obama are all on tap to make news.

Investors will also be keeping close tabs on volatile emerging markets. Concerns about China, Argentina and Turkey contributed to the sell-off last week.

Earnings keep on coming: The latest results from some heavy hitters will roll in this week. Apple (AAPL), Yahoo! (YHOO), Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN) and Google (GOOG) are all on deck from the world of tech.

Pfizer (PFE), Visa (V), Boeing (BA) and AT&T (T)are also set to report.

Related: How much should you hold in stocks?

And investors will get earnings from the new American Airlines (AAL) for the first time since it merged with U.S. Airways.

Fed time: The Fed will reveal its latest policy decision Wednesday. At its previous meeting, the Fed announced plans to begin scaling back its massive stimulus program by $10 billion per month to $75 billion in monthly bond purchases, citing signs of economic growth. At the time, the market cheered this so-called tapering.

Related: Here comes the end of QE

But even though the economy only added 74,000 jobs in December, many market observers expect the Fed will continue to cut back on its quantitative easing.

Stocks down? It's about time!

Brad McMillan of Commonwealth Financial Network said that economic data besides the jobs report has been positive. He believes the Fed will reduce its purchases by another $10 billion a month.

McMillan added that the Fed would only create more market uncertainty if it didn't stick to winding down its program as expected. Some might interpret the lack of further tapering as a sign the Fed thinks the economy has taken a turn for the worse.

"The Fed has to give the impression that they know what they're doing and they're in control," he said. "To back off after just one month would signal a lack of conviction in their previous decision."

The meeting is also the last one for Fed chairman Ben Bernanke. Current Fed vice chair Janet Yellen will take over the top job in February.

Bring on the data: A slew of economic reports will also help investors gauge the state of the economy.

The most important will be gross domestic product for the fourth quarter. That period included the government shutdown and holiday shopping season. GDP grew at an impressive 4.1% annual pace in the third quarter, so investors will be watching to see if that trend continued for the remainder of the year.

There are signs that bond investors may be nervous about the economy. The yield on the 10-year Treasury has fallen to 2.73% -- its lowest level since late November. Bonds have outperformed stocks so far this year. And that usually happens when investors are worried and seeking to put money in less risky assets.

Related: Jack Lew: U.S. could grow by 3% this year

Investors will also get new home sales figures on Monday and the Case-Schiller home price index on Tuesday.

And after a season of so-so holiday sales, the consumer will be in focus, with reports on consumer confidence and personal income out Tuesday and Friday, respectively.

State of the Union? More like state of the economy: President Obama will give his State of the Union address Tuesday night. While it's unlikely to move the markets, investors will be listening for any major policy announcements on Obamacare, energy and the many economic problems facing the middle class.

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Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,804.71 -238.19 -1.40%
Nasdaq 4,422.09 -71.31 -1.59%
S&P 500 1,946.16 -26.13 -1.32%
Treasuries 2.40 -0.10 -4.19%
Data as of 5:31am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.82 -0.23 -1.35%
Ford Motor Co 14.59 -0.20 -1.34%
Facebook Inc 76.55 -2.49 -3.15%
Apple Inc 99.18 -1.57 -1.56%
Cisco Systems Inc 25.03 -0.18 -0.72%
Data as of Oct 1