UPDATE 1-What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Wednesday, April 8
(Adds item on William Dudley in paragraph 4) The Federal Reserve releases minutes from its March 17-18 monetary policy meeting, which should shed light on its internal debate over the rate hike plans. At the meeting, the Fed opened the door to a possible June rate hike by dropping a vow to exercise patience in deciding when to raise rates from rock-bottom levels. But officials also downgraded their economic forecasts and lowered their projections for future interest rates. Investors will parse the minutes to see whether the shift in their forecasts is due to worries the fundamentals of the economy are not as strong as they had thought, or whether it is simply to take into account a weaker-than-expected start to the year. Aluminum maker Alcoa Inc kicks off U.S. corporate earnings season after markets close. The company, which will report first-quarter results, has been shifting away from its traditional high-cost aluminum smelting business into more value-added products in the automotive and aerospace industries. After a flurry of acquisitions and an announcement that it was reviewing 14 percent of its smelting capacity (followed by the curtailment of its smelting capacity in Brazil announced on March 30), analyst will be watching for commentary on Alcoa's transformation and further acquisitions. Discount retailer Family Dollar Stores Inc, which has agreed to be acquired by smaller rival Dollar Tree, is likely to report profit for the second quarter above analysts' average estimate. The No. 2 U.S. discount retailer stopped giving forecast from February, citing the impending deal, but estimated a 4.1 percent rise in net sales in the two months ended Jan. 31. Investors will be looking for updates on the acquisition and Federal Trade Commission's decision on the number of stores that Dollar Tree needs to divest to win regulatory approval for the deal. Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley participates in a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker interview to discuss monetary policy issues. (1000/1400) Separately, Federal Reserve Board Governor Jerome Powell speaks on "Challenges for Monetary Policy" before the C. Peter McColough Series on International Economics hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations. (0800/1200) Rite Aid Corp reports fourth-quarter results for the fiscal year ending February. The company has made progress on its turnaround efforts including a renewed distribution agreement with McKesson, purchase of pharmacy benefit manager Envision Rx and continued rollout of its wellness format. Investors will be looking for guidance for fiscal 2016, comments on plans to improve in-stock positions and reduce purchasing costs along with new plans for its wellness formats. The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City issues Labor Market Conditions Indicator (LCMI) for March. The LCMI are two monthly measures of labor market conditions based on 24 labor market variables. One indicator measures the level of activity in labor markets and the other indicator measures momentum in labor markets. Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver will give a speech on the state of the economy ahead of the April 21 federal budget. He will address the Economic Club of Canada. He usually meets reporters after such appearances. Reporters will look for any hints of the contents of the budget. He has already pledged that it will be balanced and will not contain new taxes. Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Canada's largest oil lobby group, holds its annual investment symposium in Toronto, including a keynote speech by Russ Girling, TransCanada's chief executive and a panel on transportation on the second day featuring executives from pipeline and rail companies. Presentations are grouped around issues such as "Why are Assets Being Sold in Canada to Buy into U.S. Plays" and include panels of oil industry executives. Statistics agency IBGE releases Brazil's benchmark IPCA consumer price index for March. The monthly inflation rate probably remained above 1 percent in March even as the economy slips closer to recession, keeping the central bank under pressure to continue raising interest rate. (0800/1200) Chile's government releases data for March inflation, which is expected to have increased by 0.8 percent from the previous month, but numbers have consistently surprised on the upside over the last year. (Compiled by Sourav Bose in Bengaluru; Edited by Don Sebastian)
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