Europe, Facebook Set to Dominate Coming Week

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Though Facebook is slated to launch its initial public offering on Friday, events in Europe are apt to dominate the markets in the coming week.

"I certainly expect to see Europe in the headlines again next week and not in a good way," said Adrian Day, president of Adrian Day Asset Management.

Transformational elections in Greece and France reignited worries about the stability of the eurozone, sending U.S. stocks lower this past week. Spain was also in focus after the country was forced to bail out Bankia, its fourth largest bank by assets.

There was some ugliness in corporate news as well with Cisco shares torpedoed by a weak outlook, and JPMorgan Chase blindsiding investors with a surprise $2 billion trading loss.

Overall, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.7% on the week to close at 12,820.60, the S&P 500 dropped 1.1% to finish at 1353.39, and the Nasdaq Composite gave back 0.8% to settle at 2956.34. Year to date, the indices are up 4.9%, 7.6% and 12.6%, respectively.

Greece is still working to solidify a new government, and in the coming week, French President-elect Francois Hollande and Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel are slated to meet on Tuesday, according to U.K. newspaper The Telegraph.

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"They can hug and hold hands, but that only takes us back to where we were a month ago," Day said, adding that because of the abundance of issues in Europe, there are many future steps to be taken. "If Germany and France aren't able to work together, what are we left with? It is a problem for Europe."

Day said he thinks Hollande and Merkel's body language during their meeting will be telling and something for investors to watch.

Doug Cote, chief market strategist at ING Investment Management, isn't expecting much actual news from across the pond.

"For the foreseeable future, we will continue to have noise from Europe, and that's all that is, noise," said Cote.

Meanwhile, Facebook is looking to raise about $10.6 billion in its much-anticipated public debut in the coming week. The social networking giant has set a price range of $28-$35 for the shares, which are expected to price after the market closes Thursday.

There have been mixed reports so far about how heavy the interest in the stock is at those levels following the start of the company's roadshow this past week.

Day expects that if Facebook's IPO does relatively well, it will have a "positive, but modest positive" effect on the markets. But, if Facebook's IPO turns sour quickly, that could have a bigger influence on trading, Day said, adding that he does not anticipate a Facebook flop.

There will also be continuing fallout from JPMorgan's stunning announcement of a $2 billion mark-to-market loss in its synthetic credit portfolio. The Securities and Exchange Commission is now looking into the matter, and both Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings lowered their credit ratings on the bank late Friday.

The economic calendar for next week includes retail sales and the consumer price index for April on Tuesday, housing starts on Wednesday and initial jobless claims on Thursday.

"Retail sales is the biggest one because right now retail sales is actually at an all-time record high," Cote said. "If there's another month of growth, they'll be at an all-time record." The consensus is looking for an increase of 0.2%, according to Briefing.com.

Cote sees a disconnect between recent jobs reports and retail sales numbers.

"I think the job growth number has been severely understated, and I think there will be positive revisions," Cote said. "The math doesn't add up. You can't have such robust retail sales with those job numbers."

Weekly initial jobless claims are anticipated to be 365,000, according to Briefing.com, compared with 367,000 this past week.

It's also a big earnings week for retailers with results from Home Depot , J.C. Penney and TJX on Tuesday; Target on Wednesday, and Wal-Mart on Thursday.

As of Friday, 91% of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported their first-quarter earnings with 66.2% beating analysts' estimates, 9.7% remaining in line with analysts' expectations and 24.1% missing estimates, according to Thomson Reuters.

-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian in New York.

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