Existing home sales, Fed speakers, Schlumberger: 3 things to watch

  • Investing.com
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Existing home sales, Fed speakers, Schlumberger: 3 things to watch
Credit: © Reuters.

By Liz Moyer

Investing.com -- Stocks fell again on Thursday, extending the previous session's downdraft as recession fears roared back to life.

The market is trying to decide what the Federal Reserve's next move on interest rates will be. Various Fed speakers have indicated their willingness to continue raising rates but at a slower pace, while others, notably St. Louis Fed Chair James Bullard, have said the Fed should get rates above 5% sooner rather than later. 

The Fed's next meeting starts Jan. 31, and investors expect that when its decision comes out the next day, it will raise rates by a quarter of a percentage point. That means if it wants to reach above 5%, it's going to have to raise rates at future meetings. The current fed funds rate is 4.25% to 4.50%. 

The expectation for further rate hikes comes amid corporate earnings season. Banks have already reported, and many noted they put more money aside for possible loan losses down the road as a weaker economy and the potential for rising unemployment put added stress on households.

The tech sector will release a smattering of reports in the coming days amid a big wave of layoffs and cost retrenchments in the industry, and then retailers will report after them.

Here are three things that could affect markets tomorrow:

1. Existing home sales

Existing home sales data are due out at 10:00 ET (15:00 GMT). Analysts expect sales to fall 5.4% in December from the prior month, when sales fell 7.7%. On an annual basis, analysts expect existing home sales of 3.96 million, down from 4.09M in November.

2. Fed speakers

Two more Fed officials are slated to speak on Friday. Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker is slated to speak at 9:00 ET, while Fed Governor Christopher Waller is scheduled to speak at 13:00 ET. Investors will be watching to see if they drop any hints about their thinking coming into the February rate decision.

3. Schlumberger earnings

Oil services firm Schlumberger NV (NYSE: SLB ), also known as Schlumberger, is expected to report earnings per share of 68 cents on revenue of $7.78 billion.

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