This week is likely to produce evidence of the impact falling oil prices are having on oil-producing countries and businesses. On Monday, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia is expected to reveal his plans for reducing his country’s dependence on petroleum, a response to the fall in government revenues. His economic reform proposal may include a partial stock market listing of Saudi Aramco, the national oil company.
Several of the world’s largest oil companies are also scheduled to report first-quarter earnings, with BP leading off on Tuesday. Exxon Mobil and Chevron, the two largest American oil companies, will follow on Friday. Oil prices that averaged around a third lower for the quarter than they were in the same quarter last year are likely to translate into lower earnings.Stanley Reed
Berlin to hostdigital privacy conference.
Privacy regulators from the United States, Europe and around the globe will gather in Berlin for a two-day conference starting on Monday to discuss how some of the world’s largest companies like Google and Facebook use people’s digital information. The meeting comes as tension has been mounting over a new trans-Atlantic data-transfer deal that some European regulators say does not give their citizens sufficient protection when information is moved to the United States. Mark Scott
Tech sector seeks better news.
Several of the best-known technology companies — Facebook, Amazon,Apple and Twitter — will report earnings this week. After a disappointing string of earnings reports from Intel, Microsoft and Alphabet, the parent of Google, the tech sector could use some good news. Investors will be watching Apple’s iPhone business closely to see if the rate at which sales are falling has begun to slow. Amazon’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos, vowed recently to make bold investments, which could come at the expense of profits. Investors would love to see growth in Twitter’s user numbers, while there is wide anticipation that Facebook will continue to show strength as an Internet advertising juggernaut. Nick Wingfield
A Federal Reserve meeting to forget.
Why is this Federal Reserve meeting less important than most Fed meetings? Because at this Fed meeting, on Tuesday and Wednesday in Washington, the central bank’s policy-making committee is unlikely to raise interest rates and is unlikely to say much about its plans for future rate increases. The Fed has already signaled that it isn’t planning a second step on the road to higher rates any earlier than June. The Fed will also not update its economic forecasts at this meeting, and the Fed’s chairwoman, Janet L. Yellen, will not hold a news conference. Those who closely watch the Fed will parse the post-meeting statement for clues. Everyone else can safely pass over this one. Binyamin Appelbaum
Weak numbers expected for European banks.
It should be a busy week for earnings reports in Europe as several of the region’s biggest banks are expected to share their first-quarter results. Barclays, Deutsche Bank, the British lenders Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group and Banco Santander of Spain are all expected to update investors on their results. The first quarter hasn’t been kind to banks this year as uncertainty in the financial markets and problems in the oil and gas industry have weighed on results at the biggest American banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs. Europe’s largest lenders haven’t been spared the pain of their American counterparts and are expected to report similarly weak numbers. Chad Bray