What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Thursday, Sept. 18

Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:27pm 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) Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, one of the most anticipated IPOs since Facebook's in 2012, will price its initial public offering, which could raise more than $21 billion and become the largest-ever IPO in history. U.S. housing starts and building permits likely fell in August and building permits likely were also down last month, reversing July's strong gains that gave the impression the housing market recovery was back on track for a stronger second half of the year. The Commerce Department is expected to report that housing starts were down to a 1.04-million-unit rate last month down from 1.09 million units in July (0830/1230). A separate report from the Department of Labor will provide a weekly update on new application for unemployment insurance, seen dropping in the latest week (0830/1230). Also, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's gauge of business activity in the mid-Atlantic region in September is likely to have slipped to 23.0 in September from 28.0 in August, indicating a slowdown in the region's manufacturing (1000/1400). Oracle Corp posts fiscal first-quarter results as investors look for faster progress against smaller rivals selling web-based services. The company's results in the previous quarter disappointed Wall Street and cast doubt on the company's execution in an industry facing increasingly tight competition. Separately, smaller rival Tibco Software is likely to report its third-quarter results. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher hosts a dinner event as part of a broader commemoration of 100 years of the Federal Reserve System. Fisher will moderate panel, "Perspectives on the Fed's Role in International Crises" before a conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Separately, the Federal Reserve offers its latest quarterly reading on the net worth of U.S. households, offering a good indication of whether Americans are in position to step up spending and lend more support to the economic recovery. ConAgra Foods is scheduled to report first-quarter results before markets open. Analysts expect earnings of 35 cents per share. Red Hat, the world's largest commercial distributor of the Linux operating system, is likely to report better-than-expected second-quarter results, according to StarMine. The company in June raised its full-year profit and revenue forecast, citing improved IT spending. Business research provider IHS is likely to report better-than-expected third-quarter revenue, according to StarMine, helped by strong subscription growth. IHS, whose businesses include Cambridge Energy Research Associates and technology market research firm iSuppli, said in June that strong profit growth and free cash flow had helped it reduce debt over the past year, putting it in a position to acquire companies in the second half of the year. U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) will host an event to look at the high geopolitical and economic stakes of Trans-Pacific Partnership for the United States. Speakers include Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of International Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; John Hamre, president and CEO of CSIS; and Sandy Berger, Former National Security Adviser and current Chairman of Albright Stonebridge Group. Also attending is Cal Dooley, president and CEO of the American Chemistry Council; Dan Glickman a former member of Congress and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture; and Jon Huntsman, Former Governor of Utah and U.S. Ambassador to China. The U.S. Justice Department is expected to file papers opposing Bank of America's efforts to have a judge throw out a jury verdict finding it liable for fraud over defective mortgages sold by its Countrywide unit that resulted in a $1.27 billion penalty. The Brazilian central bank will release a report about the health of the country's financial system during the first half of 2014. The report will likely detail the effects of higher interest rates and more cautious lending by private banks as the economy slipped into recession this year. Central bank director Anthero Meirelles will give a press conference after the release of the report. (All analysts' estimates are according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S/) (Compiled By Nandi Kaul in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)