Banks, blue chips and big tech will be in focus this week as a slew of key companies report fourth-quarter earnings.

Bank of America (BAC), Morgan Stanley (MS), IBM (IBM), GE (GE), Goldman Sachs (GS), Google (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL) are just a sampling of names releasing results this week. And if last week's numbers are any guide, the market should have plenty of reasons to rally, says Jason Weisberg, managing director at Seaport Securities.

"Clearly, people are going to have all eyes on earnings and how they come in against estimated earnings," Weisberg says. "So far we've had two bellwether companies -- Intel (INTC) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) -- with amazing, blowout numbers. I think that's just a sign of things to come."

Not Such Great Expectations

Stock marketThe market is riding a seven-week winning streak, thanks in no small part to strong bank earnings. Better-than-expected earnings from Dow component JPMorgan, the nation's second-biggest bank by assets, led a rally in financial stocks that could continue on more bullish earnings this week. The return of big-bank profits has raised the likelihood of dividend increases from the money-center banks, which would be a boon for pension funds and retirees.

True, Wall Street forecasts have been "lowered to above ground level," Weisberg adds, making it pretty difficult for companies to miss expectations, but he's still optimistic that stocks, particularly in oil services, consumer technology and apartment REITs, will enjoy a banner year.

"The earnings from last quarter are going to be terrific, and we're going to have a great year for equities," Weisberg says. Barring any big geopolitical surprises, the veteran trader thinks the Dow can get to 13,000 by year-end.

With Apple among those reporting earnings this week, one key thing to watch will be whether its expected healthy results can offset Apple investors' jitters over CEO Steve Jobs medical leave. Jobs's health has been a one of the few negatives Apple has had to deal with in recent years, and the possibility that it's again going to have an impact on the company is something to watch.

For more on Weisberg's take from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYX), see the video above.

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Mr.D99

The rich get richer the poor get poorer and the politians get their war chests full. I though income tax was to fund WW2? Well it's been over for 65 years when do we stop paying? Oh I forgot anything that lets the clowns in Washington get to spend trillions is never repealed.

January 18 2011 at 12:48 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
gardeningatnite

Under a government run healthcare system people are always given lifesaving treatment unless (1) the treatment is very experimental and unlikely to help or (2) the patient is causing their illness and refuses to stop, an alcoholic who needs a liver transplant but refuses to stop drinking; the hospital would rather give the liver to someone who will take care of it..... In both of these situations a private healthcare insurer would also refuse treatment!

January 18 2011 at 12:07 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to gardeningatnite's comment
David

I am sure happy Obumas cronies on wall street are doing just fine. What about main street?

January 18 2011 at 12:02 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to David's comment
gardeningatnite

Wow! All the dems doing so well on wall street!........What's up with the republicans???............not wall street savvy???.......LOL!

January 18 2011 at 12:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
k4jlp

im so much looking forward to the wikileaks data on bank accounts, would also like to see more data on how crude futures pricing is controlled by gs highspeed trading software.

January 18 2011 at 12:01 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to k4jlp's comment
gardeningatnite

Of course, the level of service in Canada is a political one; the country decides collectively through government how much to spend on healthcare, and then that money is spent out according to need until it runs out. Keeping in mind, of course; that rationing also exists in the US healthcare system, as with all things in all places at all times; the Golden Rule....limited resources versus unlimited wants...... So, with that in mind, rich 80 year olds are getting pointless hip operations in the US....while poor 50 year olds are confined to wheelchairs......

January 18 2011 at 11:44 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to gardeningatnite's comment
gardeningatnite

LOL!......sure! sure!

January 18 2011 at 12:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David

Everyone in Canada loves it, until they get sick. Then they come to the USA

January 18 2011 at 12:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gardeningatnite

Poor ole Sarah....Palin highlighted the difficulty of obtaining affordable health care in America.... During the presidential campaign, Palin discussed how her and husband Todd had 'gone though periods of our life here with paying out-of-pocket for health coverage until Todd and I both landed a couple of good union jobs.'..........so typical republican!

January 18 2011 at 11:38 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to gardeningatnite's comment
gardeningatnite

You should take more notes, I have piles and piles of them on my desk!...Any decent blogger would do the same!

January 18 2011 at 11:41 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
gardeningatnite

You can take it anyway you want!.....so much info, so little time, take notes, they are always there until I throw them out!

January 18 2011 at 12:01 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
gardeningatnite

Poor ole Sarah "We used to hustle over the border for health care we received in Canada."... And I think now, isn't that ironic?.....so typical republican!

January 18 2011 at 11:35 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gardeningatnite's comment
gardeningatnite

Damn if you do, damn if you don't!....That's a miserable way to live life, you know?

January 18 2011 at 11:51 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
k4jlp

hey
tjwill
i type in caps because i cant' hardly see
im glad that bugs ya

January 18 2011 at 11:21 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
gardeningatnite

The return of big-bank profits has raised the likelihood of dividend increases from the money-center banks, which would be a boon for pension funds and retirees.........Why would the (big) banks be allowed to mess with pension funds and retirees in the first place??...Is nothing sacred in america anymore? The banks managed their money so poorly, they needed a government bailout?....Profits and bonuses over people!.........Disgusting!

January 18 2011 at 11:14 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
David

Glade to see the dem's big banks and wall street so doing well, now what about the rest of us!

January 18 2011 at 10:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply