What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Wednesday, Nov. 19
(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) The Federal Reserve releases minutes from its most recent policy meeting that could yield clues on how officials are squaring a run of weak inflation readings with an improving labor market, and the state of debate around when and how to start the Fed's first rate hike cycle in a decade (1400/1900). Target Corp releases third-quarter earnings before the bell. The company is expected to post a slight fall in profit for the three months to Nov. 2 compared with a year earlier. U.S. housing starts and permits likely rose slightly in October as housing recovery continues at a slow pace. The U.S. Department of Commerce is expected to report that new housing starts increased to a 1,025,000-unit rate in October from 1,017,000 units in September. New building permits issued likely climbed to 1,040,000 last month (0830/1330). Separately, the Mortgage Bankers Association releases its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which declined 0.9 percent in the week ended Nov. 7 (0700/1200). Staples Inc, the largest office supply retailer, is expected to report a third-quarter profit below analysts' estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. The company was likely hurt by lower sales of computers and core office products in North America amid stiff competition from online and mass retailers. Staples' heavy promotional activities weighed on margins. The company said in March it would shut 140 stores. Investors would want to know of more store closures and any forecast ahead of the holiday quarter. Home improvement retailer Lowe's Cos Inc is expected to report better-than-expected third-quarter profit and sales, according to StarMine. The company said in August it expects sales to be driven in the second half of the year by higher consumer spending on renovations and on products such as electronic appliances. Business software maker Salesforce.com Inc is expected to report third-quarter results above analysts' estimate, according to StarMine. The company has been benefiting from higher sales of its web-based marketing software, and had raised its full-year profit and revenue forecast in August. Spending on enterprise resource management and customer relationship management has been strong and analysts expect that to grow rapidly in the near term. Investors will be looking for comments on its investment plans in healthcare, a market the company is looking to expand in. Keurig Green Mountain Inc, the maker of the K-cup single serve pod, is expected to report its fiscal fourth-quarter results after the bell. The company has tried to expand beyond its core business as it grapples with more competition in single-serve coffee packets. The Clearing House will host Annual Conference Payment System Risk Symposium. Over a dozen in-depth panel discussions, featuring senior leaders from commercial banks, regulatory agencies, the regulatory bar, academia, and technology companies will explore a diverse range of topics, including financial system resiliency, cybersecurity, risk management, the relation between regulation and economic growth, bank supervision, emerging payments technologies. The conference will feature keynote addresses from the Federal Reserve Board Governor Daniel Tarullo, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, Deutsche Bank Co-CEO Anshu Jain and Honor H. Rodgin Cohen. Federal Reserve Bank of New York First Vice President Christine Cumming also speaks before the conference. Shares of real estate company Paramount Group Inc are expected to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The company's IPO would be the second-largest initial public offering by a real estate company in the United States after Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc's IPO last year. The offering is expected to raise up to $2.5 billion, valuing the company at about $4.6 billion at the top end of the $16-$19 per share range. Paramount plans to become a real estate investment trust (REIT) after the offering. Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver will testify on budget legislation at the House finance committee, the Senate banking committee and the Senate finance committee (1645/2145). TransCanada Corp, Canada's second-largest pipeline operator, will hold its annual Investor Day event. A key focus for investors will be an update on the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline project. Efforts to build the cross-border pipeline were buoyed last week after the Republican-led House of Representatives passed a bill to approve the project but it now faces a tough U.S. Senate battle and potential veto from President Obama. The company is also under pressure from analysts and activist investors to overhaul its operations, including a potential split of its pipeline and power generation businesses. Brazil's government releases mid-November inflation rate, which will probably reflect a recent fuel price increase. Inflation has climbed despite stagnant economic growth, prompting the central bank to raise interest rates to their highest in nearly three years. Separately, the government also releases official unemployment numbers for October. Country's unemployment rate has remained near record lows as an increasing number of teenagers and young adults opted out of the labor force to dedicate more time to training. However, economists said it may start to climb higher in coming months (0600/1000). Mexico's central bank is set to adjust its growth forecast for 2014 after weaker-than-expected data in the third quarter. The central bank last estimated the economy will grow between 2.0 percent and 2.8 percent and economists are projecting a 2.3 percent annual expansion in Latin America's No. 2 economy. Policymakers will also update their inflation forecasts in their quarterly report after a recent spike in inflation above the central bank's 4 percent limit. The central bank last projected that annual inflation will fall close to 3 percent by the middle of next year. Bank of England releases the minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee meeting held on 5 and 6 November 2014. Minutes will show how the nine-member committee voted earlier this month, when the Bank kept rates at 0.5 percent, their level since the depths of the financial crisis. The Bank of Japan is widely expected to keep monetary policy steady at the end of its two-day meeting, after having expanded stimulus last month. Focus on whether the weak GDP data will trigger a downgrade in the BOJ's economic assessment and how it will affect its long-term GDP forecasts, which will be reviewed again in January next year. Also looking out for what BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has to say about Abe's expected decision to delay a second sales tax hike, as the governor has been a vocal advocate of raising sales tax. (Compiled by Sourav Bose in Bangalore)
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