It looks like we are heading into what could potentially be a big week for trading not just in terms of US and Canadian news but in how overseas developments could impact markets here in North America. The French election Sunday could set the tone for the week. It’s still a four way race for two spots in the second round being held in two weeks. Strong showings by Le Pen or Melenchon could increase political uncertainty which could be negative for stocks, particularly the CAC, and the Euro and could be positive for defensive havens like gold, CHF and JPY. A strong showing by Marcon or Fillon could calm the markets, boosting stocks and EUR at the expense of defensive plays. IT’s a big week for big company earnings. Big mining companies like Alcoa kick things off Monday. Big Industrials dominate Tuesday and Wednesday with reports due from Caterpillar and Boeing. Big Tech takes over Thursday with results from Google, Amazon, Intel and Microsoft. Friday it’s big Oil’s turn with results due from ExxonMobil and Chevron. There are also a number of potential political developments due through the week. President Trump is planning to unveil his tax reform plan on Wednesday. Meanwhile, negotiations continue around the debt ceiling, infrastructure and health care reform. Uncertainty may grow around NAFTA following comments last week indicating the potential for trade disputes with Canada over dairy and softwood lumber. North Korea could flare up again as well as aircraft carriers move into position. Overseas economic developments that could move the markets include the Bank of Japan meeting Wednesday night, The ECB meeting Thursday morning and the main basket of monthly Japanese economic indicators Thursday night. Things don’t let up heading into next weekend either. Friday brings a flurry of Q1 GDP reports from a number of key countries including the US and UK plus Canada February GDP. Also, being month-end, we get the start of April PMI reports with US Chicago and China leading the way. Economic news (North America time): Sunday France Presidential election round one results Tuesday US carrier Vinson to arrive off Korea Wednesday US President Trump to unveil tax reform plan Canada retail sales Wednesday evening Bank of Japan meeting Thursday ECB meeting US durable goods Thursday evening Japan employment, inflation, retail sales, industrial production, housing starts, construction Friday US, UK Canada, France, Spain Q1 GDP US Chicago PMI Saturday China manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMI TBA US health care reform and debt ceiling negotiations continue Earnings Reports: Monday Alcoa Newmont Tuesday Caterpillar DuPont McDonalds 3M Wednesday Boeing United Technologies Twitter Thursday Google Intel Amazon.com Microsoft Friday General Motors Exxon Mobil Chevron