Wall Street is looking to continue its winning streak this morning as another busy week of earnings reports looms on the horizon. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is also within spitting distance of 10,000.

A slew of big names and bellwether companies are reporting third-quarter earnings this week, including:  Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Citigroup (NYSE: C), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) and General Electric (NYSE: GE).

Thanks to economic optimism, crude oil prices jumped more than 2% this morning, hitting a six-week high. Cold weather across the United States and a weakening dollar are also feeding the increased demand, reports Reuters. At one point, prices hit $73.84, the highest since Aug. 25. United States Oil (NYSEArca: USO) is up about 1.25% this morning.

A discouraging report about jobs emerged this morning: economists think that the 7.2 million jobs lost in the course of the recession won’t fully return until 2012, or later. Fewer than 8% of the 44 economists surveyed think that jobs will return soon than that, reports Greg Robb for MarketWatch. But there was much better news out of the report: 80% of economists believe that the recession is finally over.

Other thoughts the economists had include:

  • Real GDP is expected to grow at a pace of 2.9% in the second half of this year and at 3% next year
  • Unemployment will rise to 10% in the first quarter of 2009 before dipping back to 9.5% by the end of the year
  • The Federal Reserve, economists believe, will keep interest rates at record lows until later next spring

For more stories about oil, visit our oil category.

Earnings season also continues next week with reports from Intel (INTC), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Citigroup (C), Google (GOOG), Goldman Sachs (GS) and General Electric (GE).

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.