What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Thursday, May 14

Wed May 13, 2015 3:14pm 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)

Department store operator Kohl's Corp is expected to report a first-quarter profit that beats the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. Same-store sales are expected to grow, helped by the nationwide rollout of its loyalty program and more online and TV advertising. The growth is likely to offset the higher expenses the company forecast in February as it revamps stores and integrates its brick-and-mortar stores with its online business. Investors will look for reactions and comments on Macy's entry into off-price retail. Department store operator Nordstrom Inc reports first-quarter results after the bell.

Chip gear-maker Applied Materials Inc is expected to post a second-quarter profit largely in line with Wall Street's expectations, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. Applied Materials is expected to benefit from a rise in demand after antitrust concerns forced the company to scrap its bid for Japanese rival Tokyo Electron last month. Investors will look for management commentary on the company's plans for the rest of 2015.

The Labor Department is expected to report that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose to 275,000 for the week ended May 9, compared with a seasonally adjusted 265,000 for the week ended May 2. (0830/1230) Also, the Labor Department releases its producer price index data for April, which is not expected to have changed from the 0.2 percent reported in March. (0830/1230)

Symantec Corp, the maker of the Norton antivirus software, is expected to report fourth-quarter results above the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. Symantec has been benefiting as governments and companies boost spending to protect their networks from increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks. The company has been seeking buyers for its storage business, Veritas, or the entire company, for several months, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters last month. Investors will look for comments on that and on the company's outlook for 2016.

Restaurant chain operator El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc is expected to slightly miss first-quarter revenue estimates, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine, and investors will look for any cuts to its comparable restaurants sales forecast for the year. El Pollo Loco enjoyed a strong rise following its debut last year, but suffered a drop off towards the end of 2014. Investors will also compare the company's performance to other restaurants that debuted last year.

King Digital Entertainment Plc, the creator of "Candy Crush", is expected to report first-quarter revenue above the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine, driven by higher bookings for its games. Analysts expect the fall in bookings for the popular "Candy Crush Saga" to be offset by bookings from other franchises such as "Candy Crush Soda Saga".

Minutes from the last meeting of Mexico's central bank could shed more light on whether policymakers are willing to raise their benchmark interest rate from 3 percent ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve if the peso continues to slump. Previous minutes have shown that only one policymaker was worried about a run in the local currency bond market and thought a preemptive hike should be considered. More policymakers seem concerned about weak growth and are reticent to raise interest rates with little signs of an impact on inflation from the peso's losses. Also, Mexico's National Statistics Institute will release industrial production data for March, after the gauge picked up in February as the manufacturing, mining and utilities sectors grew.

Brazil's statistics agency IBGE will release its March retail sales report at 0800 ET (1200 GMT). Economists expect the numbers to show yet another drop in Brazilian retail sales in March, another sign of a broad economic recession in Latin America's largest economy. High inflation has hurt food sales at supermarkets, while rising interest rates have diminished demand for durable goods such as automobiles.   Continued...