What to Watch in The Day Ahead; Wednesday, May 7

Tue May 6, 2014 3:29pm EDT
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(The Day Ahead is an email and PDF publication that includes the day's major stories and events, analyses and other features. To receive The Day Ahead, Eikon users can register at . Thomson One users can register at RT/DAY/US. All times in ET/GMT) Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen takes the microphone to testify before the Congressional Joint Economic Committee. Financial markets will be keen to see whether there is any softening in her view that there is substantial slack in the labor market, given the drop in the unemployment rate and the labor force participation rate last month. (1000/1400)

Hiring was fairly robust in the first quarter, given that the economy barely expanded. That means business productivity plummeted like a stone. Economists expect a report from the Labor Department to show that non-farm productivity slid at a 1 percent annual rate during the quarter. (0830/1230) Also expected in the day is consumer credit for March released by the Federal Reserve. (1500/1900)

Rupert Murdoch-owned television and film company Twenty-First Century Fox, which was spun off from News Corp last June, is expected to report slightly better-than-expected third-quarter results, according to StarMine data. In February, the company cut its fiscal-year outlook, blaming missed targets at its movie studio and weak broadcast network ratings. Investors will be looking for update on company's outlook for the year.

Enbridge, Canada's largest pipeline company, is expected to release first-quarter results. Enbridge lines transport the bulk of Canadian crude exports to the United States and the company has been expanding and modernizing the network in a bid to relieve congestion and prevent crude getting bottle-necked in Alberta. Its Northern Gateway project to Canada's Pacific coast has run into fierce environmental and aboriginal opposition and recently Enbridge said there were delays in obtaining a U.S. presidential permit for the expansion of its Alberta Clipper line.

World's largest beermaker Anheuser-Busch InBev is scheduled to report first-quarter results. The company had forecast a return to growth in major markets Brazil and Mexico due to the World Cup and stronger economies, although it faces higher input and marketing costs. Exceptional cold in North America likely hit sales as fewer drinkers would have gone out to bars.

Europe's biggest bank, HSBC Holdings, releases its interim management statement for the first quarter. The bank's investment banking income is likely to be down, but cost-cutting could help offset the decline.

Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser is due to announce his new strategy for the German engineering group and the company is scheduled to report financial results for the first half of the fiscal year. Investors have high hopes in his ability to regain ground lost to more profitable competitors such as Switzerland's ABB and U.S.-based General Electric, but he has cautioned not to expect earth-shattering changes.

Duke Energy is expected to report strong first-quarter earnings, aided by higher power rates. Regulators in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida approved the company's request to raise utility rates last year. The company is selling its Midwest commercial generation business, including stakes in 13 merchant power plants that sell electricity on the wholesale market. Investors will be looking for comments on the planned sale.

Chesapeake Energy, the second largest U.S. producer of natural gas, is expected to report first-quarter earnings before the bell. The company benefited from a weather-related spike in natural gas prices in the quarter.   Continued...