NEW YORK, (AFP) - After a rough start to earnings season, US stocks face a tidal wave of corporate results next week amid growing worries the US economic recovery is slowing. Stocks fell off a cliff Friday after a sagging consumer confidence index and mixed earnings spooked investors. What was looking like a nice week turned into a huge sell-off, said Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist at Schaeffers Investment Research. Detrick noted that the unfortunate combination of disappointing earnings and troublesome economic data was all it took for the bears to take control. Over the week the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.98 percent, to finish Friday at 10,097.90 points. The tech-rich Nasdaq composite index gave back 0.79 percent at 2,179.05 points. The S&P 500 index, a broad measure of the markets, dropped 1.21 percent to 1,064.88 points. Nonetheless, after a nearly five percent jump last week a 1.2 percent drop for the week isnt all that bad, Detrick said. Aluminum giant Alcoa, the first Dow member to report financial results, got the ball rolling Tuesday with a swing into profit in the second quarter and a brighter outlook on global demand for the metal. Investors cheered, sending the Dow into a triple-digit gain and driving the markets to the only strong rally all week. The major indices finished lower Thursday after seven consecutive days of gains that had lifted the blue-chip Dow about seven percent. But investors ran for cover Friday after worrying US bank results and the University of Michigans consumer sentiment index plummeted in July to its lowest reading in 11 months. The Dow dived 2.52 percent, the Nasdaq lost 3.11 percent and the S&P 500 shed 2.88 percent. Consumers remain worried about many things, including enacted and potential policy changes, high unemployment, weak house prices, lost wealth, and small raises. Also depressing sentiment is limited access to credit, said Scott Hoyt at Moodys The week ahead will highlight the state of the distressed housing market, where prices continue to fall after the market began to collapse about three years ago. Reports are due on June housing starts and building permits, on Tuesday, and existing-home sales on Thursday. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to provide two days of semiannual testimony on monetary policy to Congress, to the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday and the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee on Thursday. In minutes of the latest Fed policy-setting meeting published this week, the central bank lowered its 2010 economic growth forecast to 3.0-3.5 percent from the 3.2-3.7 percent range predicted just months ago. While Fed chairman Bernankes remarks may not deviate significantly from the recent minutes, the hearing will nevertheless draw attention given concerns on the US outlook and potential Fed actions in the second half of 2010, UBS analysts said in a client note. Still, investors are expected to zero in on a slew of earnings reports as the season picks up steam. A dozen of the Dows 30 blue-chip stocks will be reporting, including IBM, Texas Instruments, Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, Caterpillar, Microsoft and 3M. Among other big firms slated to release results are Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Apple, Yahoo and Apple. So far we would give the earnings reports and guidance a B-plus. At the same time, we would give the reaction to the reports a C-minus, said Patrick OHare, chief market analyst at We are just getting started then, which means the weeks ahead should be filled with plenty of drama as it relates to the economic outlook and the achievability of earnings growth estimates in the back half of the year.