U.S. stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) retreated in morning trading as investors wait on earnings reports from key companies and talks of General Motors (GM) filing for bankruptcy strengthen.

All three major indexes – the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq – were down about 1% in morning trading. Things are a little sunnier in Asia, were the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.4% on increases in lending in China and the Japanese government’s decision to double stimulus spending.

This slip in markets, in addition to an International Energy Agency report forecasting a drop in global crude demand, sent black gold prices under $50 per barrel.

Many investors believe that this next week will be a good indicator of exactly how our economy is performing as financial giants and other conglomerates including Citigroup (C), Goldman Sachs (GS), JP Morgan Chase (JPM), and General Electric (GE), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Intel (INTC) are scheduled to announce earnings this week.

In an attempt to further stabilize the financial sector, federal regulators told the nation’s largest banks to remain silent about their performance on government stress tests and not to disclose their results at earnings time. Instead, the federal government wishes to announce the results all at once at the end of the month. The main reason behind this is to prevent good news about strong banks from putting a damper on others and causing a downward spiral of falling share prices and financial weakness, states Daniel Wagner for the Associated Press.

Financials have performing fairly well over the last month.  Take a look at the Financial Select SPDR (XLF), which is up 71.4% over the last month, despite being down 14.3% year to date.

Concerns about auto maker giant GM continue to linger and has forced the Treasury Department to tell the company to get ready to file for bankruptcy by June 1.  This is all despite GM’s belief that it can reorganize and bounce back outside of court.

Kevin Grewal contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.