This week has marked a rare departure from international headlines, as media attention has been centered around numerous government data announcements in the U.S. For starters, many are growing concerned over the federal budget, as several political officials have outlined numerous spending cuts or tax hikes that could have a drastic impact on various corners of the market. While oil saw its price kept in check earlier in the week, gold continues to climb higher, as it makes its way to $1,500 per ounce. Yesterday also saw Zipcar make its IPO with strong results, as many jumped into the rent-a-car firm during its opening trading period. Among all of the news surrounding the U.S., earning season is now underway, and today will be no exception [see also One Year Later: Top Ten Performing ETFs Since the Market Bottom].

Before market open today, Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) will release its most recent quarter's results. This will be the second of the "big four" banks to report this week, as JPMorgan Chase announced their earnings on Wednesday. Bank of America is the second largest non-oil company in the U.S. (behind Wal-Mart), and was recently ranked as the third best large company in the world by Forbes. The firm holds just over 12% of all U.S. deposits, and manages an impressive $2.3 trillion in total assets. No matter how Bank of America reports today, many are worried that they will go the way of JP Morgan, who reported strong numbers, but saw its share price plummet on a negative outlook [see also ETFs With Significant Goldman Sachs Exposure].

Analysts are calling for Bank of America to report EPS of $0.27 and revenues just under $27 billion. Investors should carefully take note of the company's last four earnings reports, which have been extremely volatile to say the least, with an average absolute digression of 187% from analyst estimates. In fact, last quarter the company shocked The Street when it reported earnings 71% below predictions. With reports all across the board, this release should be closely monitored as the day progresses [see also Where Are All The ETF Closures?].

With this major earnings announcement on tap, today's ETF to watch will be the RevenueShares Financials Sector (NYSE: RWW). RWW seeks to replicate an index comprised of the same securities as the S&P 500 financials index, but it weights each security by top line revenue instead of market capitalization. Bank of America ranks as the top holding in this fund, making up nearly 11% of the ETF, followed by other big names like Berkshire Hathaway, JP Morgan, and Citigroup. This ETF has had a rough year, losing over 1% with not much of a dividend to prop up its losses. With the high volatility of BAC's recent earnings, this ETF may be in store for a wild ride and could demand a closer look amid trading today.

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Berkshire Hathaway and Wal-Mart Stores are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Berkshire Hathaway is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor choice. Wal-Mart Stores is a Motley Fool Global Gains selection. Wal-Mart Stores is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Wal-Mart Stores. The Fool owns shares of Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway, JPMorgan Chase &, and Wal-Mart Stores. 

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