What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Wednesday, May 13

Tue May 12, 2015 2:39pm 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)

Network equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc is expected to report a rise in third-quarter revenue and profit, according to analysts' average estimates. Strong demand for switching equipment and routers is expected to have offset weak spending by the company's traditional telecom customers. The company, a symbol of the dot.com stock boom 15 years ago but now struggling to boost its bottom line in the era of cloud computing, recently announced that Chief Executive John Chambers would step down in July after 20 years at the helm.

U.S. retail sales likely continued to recover from a slow winter season in April as pent up demand sends consumers shopping. Analysts project that the U.S. Commerce Department will report a 0.2 percent rise in retail sales. Excluding autos, retail sales are seen up 0.5 percent. (0830/1230) The Commerce Department also releases business inventories data for March, which is expected to show a rise of 0.2 percent in the month, compared with an increase of 0.3 percent in February. (1000/1400) Also, the Labor Department releases import and export data for April. Import prices are expected to have risen 0.3 percent in April as oil prices start to go up, after dropping 0.3 percent in March. Export prices are expected to have remained unchanged at 0.1 percent. (0830/1230)

Department store operator Macy's Inc warned in February that sales and margins in the first quarter would be hurt by disruptions at U.S. West Coast ports. The company, which is entering the off-price business, had said the first four pilot off-price stores would open in the fall in New York City. Investors will look for details on the company's plan for the new business.

Department store operator J.C. Penney Co Inc is expected to report a first-quarter loss of 76 cents per share, according to the average of 17 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. In mid-April, J.C. Penney said it expected same-store sales to rise 3.5 to 4.5 percent in the quarter, helped by improving economic conditions.

A five-month proxy battle between DuPont and activist investor Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management comes to a head at the U.S. chemical conglomerate's annual shareholder meeting in Delaware. Trian, DuPont's fifth-largest investor with a 2.7 percent stake, is seeking to place Peltz and three other nominees on DuPont's 12-member board, criticizing the company's performance and calling on the board to be more accountable. DuPont has refused to add Peltz to its board and has rejected his demand to split the company's volatile materials business from more stable units such as agriculture, nutrition and health, and industrial biosciences. Trian has won at least partial support from proxy advisory firms such as ISS and the California State Teachers' Retirement System.

Hamburger chain Shake Shack Inc is expected to report a first-quarter profit below estimates, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine, primarily due to slower same-restaurant sales growth. The company had forecast slower same-restaurant sales to continue into 2015 and investors will be looking for updates and comments on the forecast.

Belgian biotech firm Galapagos' initial public offering is expected to raise about $230 million, valuing the company at about $1.6 billion. Galapagos, whose largest shareholder is Johnson and Johnson, recently received a provisional order from Abbvie for a $30 million stake in the company after its U.S. debut. The drug developer, which focuses on developing treatments for inflammatory diseases, posted promising results from a mid-stage study of its rheumatoid arthritis drug in April.

LIVE CHAT: The global macro view with Maria Fiorini Ramirez Strength in the dollar is hitting U.S. manufacturers hard, but cheaper imports could, with the blessing of lower oil prices, spark growth in consumption that adds resilience to the U.S. growth outlook. Maria Ramirez will be in the Global Markets Forum at 1000 ET (1400 GMT) to discuss macro economics. To join the conversation, click here bit.ly/1kTxdKD

(Compiled by Ayesha Sruti Ahmed in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings)