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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

This week will set the table for the fourth quarter in what's been a wild and highly unusual year. The stock market has risen more than 20% in 2019, but that's largely been because of a recovery from December's selloff in the first quarter.

The big picture: "Everybody’s squared up" in anticipation, says Ellis Phifer, market strategist at Raymond James. But this week has the potential for "all hell to break loose."

What's happening: In addition to Friday's all-important U.S. nonfarm payrolls report, investors will digest a massive chunk of earnings reports and hear from three major central banks.

  • 156 S&P 500 companies, including six members of the Dow 30, are scheduled to report third quarter earnings results, FactSet notes.
  • Germany and the U.S. will report important jobs and manufacturing data, with both countries bracing for weak readings.
  • The Fed, the Bank of Canada and the Bank of Japan will each announce policy decisions, with the Fed and BOJ expected to loosen their current policy stances.

Between the lines: If the Fed doesn't cut interest rates or deliver hawkish forward guidance on Wednesday, it will weigh heavily on the market, which sees a 90% likelihood of a cut this month and expects more in 2020.

The intrigue: Investors have a lot of dry powder — data from the Investment Company Institute shows more than $160 billion has been pulled from equity mutual funds and ETFs this year while money market funds, which are effectively savings accounts, have swelled to the highest level since 2009.

  • "The gap between US equity fund flows relative to bond and cash funds during the past 12 months is the widest since 2008," Goldman Sachs research analysts said in a note.

By the numbers: Companies reporting this week are coming in with low expectations.

  • Nine of the S&P's 11 sectors are reporting a year-over-year decline in their net profit margins and the index's forward P/E ratio is currently 17, above both the five- and 10-year averages.
  • However, 80% of companies who have reported earnings so far have beaten estimates.

The bottom line: The stock market has risen on just about any form of good news this year and has rallied after bad news. But, with little faith in the U.S.-China phase 1 trade deal, a new catalyst is needed.

Go deeper

1 min ago - World

Abbas announces first Palestinian elections in 15 years

Abbas is 85 and in the 15th year of a 4-year term. Abbas Momani/AFP via Getty

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas published a decree announcing the dates for parliamentary and presidential elections in the Palestinian Authority.

Why it matters: This is the first time in 15 years that such a decree has been published. The last presidential elections took place in 2005, with Abbas winning, and the last parliamentary elections took place in 2006, with Hamas winning.

Updated 7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — America has tuned out the coronavirus at the peak of its destruction — 1 in 3 people in L.A. County believed to have been infected with coronavirus.
  2. Politics: Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan— Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat — Joe Biden will seek nearly $2 trillion in COVID relief spending.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Trump blocks banks from limiting loans to gun and oil companies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big banks are no longer allowed to reject business loan applicants because of the industry in which they operate, according to a new rule finalized on Thursday by the Trump administration.

Why it matters: Wall Street has curtailed its exposure to industries like guns, oil and private prisons, driven by both public and shareholder pressures. This new rule could reverse that trend.

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