What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Friday, Dec. 19

Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:50pm EST
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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) Carnival Corp, the world's largest cruise operator, will report its fourth-quarter results. The company has been struggling to fend off competition from companies such as Europe's MSC Cruises, which offer cheaper cruises in the Caribbean, its largest market. Higher demand from Chinese holiday makers has helped Carnival offset some of that weakness. Investors will be looking for commentary on the pricing pressure in the Caribbean and for updates on demand for the company's Asian cruises. They will also look for Carnival's initial 2015 forecast. The company's profit is expected to top the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Narayana Kocherlakota issues a statement explaining his dissent against the Fed's decision to say it will be "patient" when it comes to raising rates. Kocherlakota, who will not vote next year and plans to leave the Fed in early 2016, wanted the Fed to take more aggressive action to bring inflation back up to the Fed's 2-percent goal. Separately, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans gives opening remarks before the Second Annual Summit on Regional Competitiveness in Chicago (1000/1500). Also, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker takes part in panel discussing the economic outlook in Charlotte, North Carolina (1230/1730). CarMax Inc, the largest U.S. used car retailer, is expected to report strong third-quarter sales as the supply of used cars in the market rises. Falling gas prices are also likely to have boosted demand, analysts say. Investors will be looking for comments on CarMax's subprime sales, which were hurt in the second quarter by tighter lending norms. BlackBerry is set to report its third-quarter results. Investors will want to see how CEO John Chen balances the task of taking the company toward the cash flow breakeven mark, even as its revenue continues to slide. Chen is about halfway through a complex turnaround plan that will see the one-time smartphone pioneer transition into a less hardware focused player. Many analysts are still on the sidelines about BlackBerry's prospects as revenue is likely to begin ticking higher only from next year on the back of the newly launched Classic device and new revenue streams from the BES12 platform. Statistics Canada releases inflation data. Canada's annual inflation rate is expected to have risen to 2.2 percent in November. Consumer prices are expected to have fallen 0.2 percent from October. Data showed last month that the annual inflation rate jumped in October as prices of food and shelter rose. Mexico's central bank issues minutes from a Dec. 5 meeting of policymakers. The document may give clues to how quickly the bank could raise interest rates if a deep slump in the peso persists. Policymakers held their benchmark interest rate at 3 percent this month but they warned that a sustained depreciation of the peso, which has hit a nearly six-year low, could drive up inflation. Since then, Central Bank Governor Agustin Carstens has warned of a hike in rates if the peso's losses affect inflation. (Compiled by Ayesha Sruti Ahmed in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey)