What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Thursday, Oct 29
(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) MasterCard Inc is expected to report third-quarter earnings in line with the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. With a majority of MasterCard's payment volumes coming from outside the United States, a strong dollar is expected to hurt its numbers. The world's No.2 payments network operator's strong presence in Europe is also threatened by the combination of arch rival Visa and Visa Europe. Meanwhile, Western Union is expected to report a slight rise in its third-quarter earnings as gains from cost-cutting and foreign exchange hedging were tempered by lower remittances from several Asian countries. Starbucks Corp, the world's biggest coffee chain, is expected to put up another good quarter on the back of strong beverage and food sales, when it reports its fourth-quarter and full-year results. Chief Executive Howard Schultz warned analysts in July not to raise expectations too much following unexpectedly strong results from the early summer, but that hasn't stopped them from setting the bar high. Time Warner Cable Inc is expected to report a third-quarter profit below analysts' expectations, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine, as its customers shift to cheaper and more flexible streaming services offered by Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. The markets are waiting for the close of the cable company's deal with Charter Communications, targeted by the end of the year. Investors will also look for any details on Time Warner Cable's plans for any online video service. U.S. economic growth likely braked sharply in the third quarter as businesses worked through an inventory glut and a strong dollar hurt exports. Growth was also likely hampered by continued spending cuts in the energy sector. A survey forecast gross domestic product expanding at a 1.6 percent annual rate, slowing sharply from a 3.9 percent pace in the second quarter. (0830/1230) Separately, the number of Americans filing new applications for unemployment benefits is expected to have increased by 4,000 in the previous week. (0830/1230) Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors releases its pending home sales index for September. Based on the contracts signed last month, the index is forecast to have gained 1 percent, after falling 1.4 percent in August. (1000/1400) Where a slump in global oil prices has harmed the largest independent oil and gas company ConocoPhillips, which reports its third-quarter results, it has pushed up profits for refiners across the United States, such as Marathon Petroleum Corp, which is expected report a higher third-quarter profit. LinkedIn Corp, the biggest social networking site for professionals, is expected to report third-quarter profit below analysts' expectations, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. The company has been spending heavily to acquire businesses and investors will be looking for updates on its upcoming referral feature and enhancements to its mobile app. Health insurer Aetna Inc is expected to report third-quarter profit above the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. Investors will be looking for updates on its deal to buy smaller rival Humana, what with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton raising questions this week about mega mergers among health insurers. Israel-based generics giant Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd is expected to announce third-quarter results. Investors will be looking for any details on the progress of its $40.5 billion acquisition of Allergan Plc's generic drug business, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart will be giving opening remarks before the Workforce Development Panel and Book Launch hosted by the Federal Reserve in Washington. (0910/1310) U.S. Treasury Counselor Antonio Weiss speaks before the first Annual Investors' Conference on Marketplace Lending, hosted by Information Management Network, in New York. (1250/1650) Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Assistant Secretary Karen Dynan will be participating in a Webinar on the next GDP estimate, hosted by Business Forward in Washington. (1300/1700) CME Group Inc is expected to report higher quarterly earnings, boosted by a rise in trading volumes for equities futures as concerns about an economic slowdown in China made for lively markets during the third quarter. The world's largest futures market operator also stands to benefit from efforts to rein in costs and plans to raise its transaction fee prices in January across a range of futures products. Electronic Arts Inc is expected to report second-quarter revenue and profit above analysts' expectations, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. The video game publisher is expected to benefit from strong sales of its newly released Madden NFL and FIFA 16 games. New York Times Co is expected to report third-quarter revenue slightly above Wall Street's consensus estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. Analysts will be on a lookout for guidance on its strategy related to digital offerings and new partnerships, as it aims to double its annual digital revenue by 2020 with a concentrated effort to win over more readers on smartphones. Gannett Co Inc, the publisher of USA Today, is also scheduled to report its third-quarter results. Citigroup Inc will hold a conference call for fixed-income investors to review its third-quarter positions and financing plans. The call will be the first in which newly appointed treasurer James von Moltke speaks, along with veteran Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach. Bombardier Inc is expected to report a lower third-quarter profit, hurt by higher costs. Bombardier's stock price has dropped sharply this year over concerns about rising cost of its CSeries jet program and lackluster demand for new 110-160 seat jets. Investors will seek details on media reports that the company was open to selling a stake in not just its rail unit, but other business areas too. Finland's Nokia, set to acquire France's Alcatel-Lucent, is expected to report lower third-quarter profit margins at its telecoms network equipment business as demand for high-speed mobile networks in China slows. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co is expected to report a fall in its third-quarter revenue as it continues to anticipate a "warmer winter" and a strong dollar, but cost-cutting is expected to help the largest U.S. tire maker post a rise in profit. Harman International Industries Inc is expected to report first-quarter revenue and profit slightly below analysts' estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. The audio products maker gets a majority of its revenue from outside the United States and a strong dollar is expected to blunt its edge against overseas rivals in its professional audio equipment business. Italian oil major Eni SpA will present third-quarter results with a focus on its plans to sell down its stake in Saipem SpA to deconsolidate the troubled oil contractor's 5.5-billion-euro debt. The market will also be looking for progress on asset sales, including a stake in its giant Mozambique gas field, as well as Iran prospects and developments in Libya. Cost-cutting efforts by Cliffs Natural Resources Inc, which has been hurt by shrinking demand for both coal and iron ore, are expected to have limited its losses in the third quarter. The company said in July that it expected "improved" profitability in the second half of the year. Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc, the world's biggest fertilizer company by market value, reports third-quarter results. Analysts will want to know about CEO Jochen Tilk's plans for deploying capital, after having withdrawn a bid for rival K+S. Canadian Oil Sands Ltd, the largest-interest owner in the joint venture Syncrude project in northern Alberta, will report third-quarter results. The company has been hit by low crude prices and is currently trying to fend off a hostile takeover bid from Suncor Energy Inc. Weak global crude prices have made it a tough quarter for the Canadian energy sector. Like its peers, Cenovus Energy Inc has responded with numerous cost-cutting steps and it is expected to report a loss for the third quarter. Goldcorp Inc, the world's most valuable gold miner, is expected to report a lower third-quarter profit, reflecting declining gold and silver prices. Maple Leaf Foods Inc's financial report is expected to show a swing to profit for the Canadian pork producer in the third quarter. Investors will be interested in what the company has to say about potential damage to its sales after the World Health Organization linked processed meats to cancer this week. Data from Statistics Canada is expected to show a 0.1 percent fall in producer prices for September, compared with a 0.3 percent decline in August. The agency will also release September figures for raw material prices, which saw their largest decline since January in August. Mexico's central bank is expected to keep interest rates steady and not lift borrowing costs until the first quarter of next year. Analysts expect Banco de Mexico to hold its key rate at 3 percent. (Compiled by Nayyar Rasheed in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey)
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