What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Wednesday, May 20

Tue May 19, 2015 2:45pm 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)

The Federal Reserve publishes minutes of its April meeting, which could shed light on what is driving decision-making at the central bank as it approaches a rate hike, probably later this year.

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans speaks on current economic conditions and monetary policy before the National Association for Business Economics International Symposium: "Economic Growth, Monetary Policy, and Structural Reform: Challenge Ahead for the United States and Europe," in Munich, Germany. (0300/0700)

Office supplies retailer Staples Inc is expected to report a first-quarter profit of 17 cents a share and revenue of $5.47 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. However, Staples is expected to report a fall in sales from a year earlier, which would be the ninth straight decline in quarterly sales. The company had blamed the stronger dollar for the sales decrease in the prior quarter and investors will be looking for details of whether currency will continue to affect the company. Investors will also be looking for comments on the Office Depot merger.

Retailer Target Corp reports first-quarter results before markets open. Analysts expect the company to report adjusted earnings per share of $1.03, compared with 92 cents in the comparable quarter of 2014. In March, the company said it would eliminate several thousand jobs, mainly from its headquarters in the United States and India, as it aims to cut $2 billion in costs over two years.

Lowe's Cos Inc, the No. 2 U.S. home improvement chain, is expected to report first-quarter results before the markets open. Larger rival Home Depot Inc reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit and sales and raised its full-year earnings forecast on Tuesday.

Teen apparel retailer American Eagle Outfitters Inc is expected to a report first-quarter profit of 12 cents a share and revenue of $692.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Unlike other mall-based teen retailers, American Eagle's trendy and fashionable merchandise has clicked with teenagers, helping the company grow sales and margins and minimize discounts. Analysts say the company's spring and summer fashion assortments are on track, resonating with customers, and bode well for the company in the back-to-school shopping season. Investors will look for second-quarter and full-year forecasts and comments on the industry.

Salesforce.com Inc, which is reportedly fielding takeover offers, is expected to report a first-quarter profit of 14 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Businesses are increasingly moving toward cloud software services that cost less and are easier to manage, which is expected to help the company post higher revenue. Investors will look for commentary on any takeover offers and for growth in the company's subscription and support revenue, which accounts for 93 percent of total revenue.

Meat products maker Hormel Foods Corp warned last month that the impact of avian influenza may drag its full-year profit toward the lower end of its forecast range due to tight turkey supply for its Jennie-O Turkey Store business. The company also temporarily laid off 233 workers at a Minnesota plant of the Jennie-O business, which accounts for about 18 percent of its revenue. When the company reports second-quarter results, investors will be looking for updates on any further impact from bird flu and changes to its outlook.   Continued...