January 17, 2011

SEC on SRO and Fiduciary Standard, Plus Earnings Season: AdvisorOne Briefing for the Week of Jan. 17, 2011

In a holiday-shortened week, the big news for advisors will come from Washington, as the SEC is expected to deliver its long-awaited recommendations under Dodd-Frank on, first, an SRO for advisors and, second, a fiduciary standard for all financial advice givers. As for market-moving news this week, tops on the list will be fourth quarter and 2010 earnings reports from a host of companies that advisors partner with, are employed by, or compete against. Other events of interest this week: Chinese President Hu Jianto makes a state visit to the U.S., the House of Representatives meets to consider a repeal of the health care reform act of 2010, multiple economic reports are released on housing and we learn about leading economic indicators for December.

Monday, Jan. 17, is the holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; markets are closed in the U.S., as are government offices and many businesses. European finance ministers meet in Brussels.

Tuesday, Jan. 18, brings us full bore into earnings season: among companies scheduled to announce fourth quarter and full 2010 earnings are Citigroup, Schwab and TD Ameritrade. The SEC is expected to make its required recommendations to Congress on whether and how a self-regulatory organization (SRO) should be established for RIAs and the results of a GAO study on financial planning. Following some near-incendiary remarks on the role of the yuan, President Hu Jianto of China arrives in the U.S. for four days of meetings and speech-making. The National Association of Home Builders will release its Housing Market Index (HMI) for January. The House of Representatives convenes for three days of business.

Wednesday, Jan. 19, brings expected earnings reports from Bank of New York/Mellon, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo, among others. The SEC is expected to deliver its recommendation on a fiduciary standard to Congress. Housing starts for December are released by the Census Bureau, and the House of Representatives is expected to vote on HR 2, a bill introduced into the 112th Congress that would repeal the health care reform act of 2010; with a Democrat-controlled Senate and a Democratic president, the repeal will not become law.

Following a private dinner on Tuesday night with President Obama at the White House, the Chinese president and his staff holds meetings at the White House; Hu is also scheduled to attend a meeting of Chinese and U.S. business executives, and to hold a joint press conference with Obama midday.

On Thursday, Jan. 20, Morgan Stanley is expected to release quarterly earnings, while we hear about leading economic indicators for December and the Philadelphia Fed’s January manufacturing index. Hu is scheduled for meetings on Capitol Hill with lawmakers, and is slated to deliver a speech at an event in Washington sponsored by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and other groups. Meanwhile, the Chinese government is scheduled to release fourth-quarter GDP and inflation numbers for December 2010.

Friday, Jan. 21, is the deadline for the SEC to make its recommendations to Congress on multiple studies mandated under Dodd-Frank, and Bank of America is expected to report earnings.

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