Last January, more than 170,000 people descended on Las Vegas for CES, the annual gadget fest that celebrates consumer electronics—TVs, smartphones, cars, wearables, anything you can plug into a wall or connect to the Web. Attendees from more than 160 countries came to the four-day event as the pandemic was brewing in China. Within weeks, the world changed. In July, the Consumer Technology Association gave in to the inevitable: It took CES 2021 virtual.
And here it comes. This truly weird, totally virtual edition of CES kicks off late Monday afternoon with a keynote by
’ CEO Hans Vestberg. More CEOs will follow, from
’ Mary Barra to
Douglas McMillon. While that feels normal—it’s easier to watch a keynote from your laptop than crammed into a chair in a packed ballroom—everything else feels off. Normally, walking the show floor requires sturdy shoes, energy bars, and perseverance. But every year I end up with piles of business cards and story ideas.
Source: CES/Consumer Technology Association
This year there are no aisles, no press, no endless taxi lines, no price-gouging hotels. Keynotes and panels will be shorter; there won’t be lots of parties. The CES website will include an “anchor desk,” with news-ish people describing events. And some elements of the site will remain in place for a month after the show ends. But the themes will be similar to last year’s—health-care technology, 5G, electric vehicles, autonomous driving, mobility, and smart cities.
CTA CEO Gary Shapiro concedes he can’t be certain how a 2022 show will play out. “Will there be hugs and handshakes?” That depends. But if there is a real CES next year, you can be sure I’ll be there.
the cloud-based internet security platform whose shares were up more than 300% last year, hosts its 2021 analyst day.
Pioneer Natural Resources
hold extraordinary shareholder meetings to vote on their proposed merger, first announced in October. Pioneer plans to acquire Parsley in an all-stock transaction valued at roughly $7 billion, based on Parsley’s recent share price.
The National Federation of Independent Business releases its Small Business Optimism Index for December. Economists forecast a 100.5 reading, below November’s 101.4.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for November. The number of job openings on the last business day of November is expected to be roughly the same as it was in October—6.65 million.
reports quarterly results.
The BLS reports the consumer price index for December. Consensus estimate is for a 1.2% year-over-year increase, similar to the November figure. The core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, is seen jumping 1.6%, matching the rise in November.
The Treasury Department reports U.S. budget data for December. For fiscal 2020, which ended in September, the budget deficit hit a record high of $3.1 trillion, spurred on by massive Covid-19 relief spending.
Earnings season commences with three of the four largest U.S. banks reporting fourth-quarter 2020 results.
PNC Financial Services Group
reports quarterly results.
hold special shareholder meetings to approve their proposed merger, first announced three months ago. ConocoPhillips has offered to acquire Concho’s outstanding shares in an all-stock transaction valued at about $12 billion.
The University of Michigan releases its Consumer Sentiment Survey for January. Expectations are for an 81.4 reading, similar to December’s.
The Census Bureau reports retail-sales data for December. Economists forecast a 0.1% month-over-month rise in consumer spending to $547 billion. Retail sales fell 1.1% in November. With autos excluded, retail sales are expected to be up 0.4%, after declining 0.9% in the previous month.
The BLS releases the producer price index for December. Consensus estimate is for a 0.1% month-over-month uptick, matching the November data.
Write to Eric J. Savitz at email@example.com