Earnings season heats up this week, with more than 100 of America's biggest companies set to announce financial results. Here are the most important companies to watch
- Aetna and Anthem: Two of the nation's largest health insurers release earnings Tuesday and Wednesday morning, respectively. Both companies have lost money due to participation in Obamacare exchanges, and both are attempting to consolidate with rivals as a result of the law. Look for clues as to how the industry will deal with antitrust oversight and Obamacare repeal.
- Facebook: is being cautious projecting future growth of ad sales on its flagship product, but we'll begin to learn Wednesday evening how profitably it can leverage subsidiaries like Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus.
- Amazon: the online retailer's "echo" products were the runaway hit of the holiday season. On Thursday, Amazon's reported revenues will tell us just how popular they were.
- Drug companies: Several of the nation's largest drug makers will announce earnings this week, including Pfizer early Tuesday and Merck on Thursday. Look for indications on how the industry plans to combat efforts to force drug companies to negotiate prices with Medicare or other federal entities.