What to Watch in the Week Ahead and on Monday, Dec 21
(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) WEEK AHEAD Markets will begin to wind down the year with the Federal Reserve rate hike out of the way and the year's last expiration of options having taken place on Friday. The areas to watch will be the ongoing daily reverse repo operations from the Fed to make sure that its endeavors to raise rates continue to go smoothly - the U.S. fed funds rate rose to 37 basis points on Friday, highest in seven years, as expected. Without a modest rally, stocks are in danger of their first down year since 2011's fractional decline (and 2008's horrific one). But the activity is likely to grow more volatile and spottier, making rallies and selloffs harder to trust. Sportswear maker Nike Inc is likely, on Tuesday, to report second-quarter profit and sales above the analysts' estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. The company expects its revenue to grow faster over the next five years than it had in the previous five. The U.S. Commerce Department on Tuesday releases the final figures for gross domestic product for the third-quarter. The economy is expected to have grown at a 1.9 percent annual pace, instead of 2.1 percent reported last month. Also on the same day, data is likely to show existing home sales for November increased 0.5 percent, after a 3.4 percent decline in October. On Wednesday, the final December reading of University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index is expected to rise to 92 from a preliminary reading of 91.8, reported earlier this month. On the same day, data is expected to show non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, dropped 0.1 percent in November. ConAgra Foods Inc, maker of Slim Jim beef jerky, is likely to report second-quarter sales below analysts estimate on Tuesday, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. The company said in October it would cut about 1,500 jobs and move its headquarters to Chicago from Omaha as part of a plan to save at least $300 million in three years. Last month, the maker of Chef Boyardee pasta said it would sell its struggling private label foods business to TreeHouse Foods for $2.7 billion. Investors will be looking out for further cost-saving measures, as well as the health of the company's consumer foods business, where sales have been recovering for the past two quarters. Canadian gross domestic product for October, due for a release on Wednesday, is forecast to have grown 0.3 percent, after a 0.5 percent decline in September. On the same day, data is expected to show retail sales in October increased by 0.5 percent. ON MONDAY, DECEMBER 21 Brazil's central bank releases results of a focus market survey of more than 100 financial institution that will include forecasts for GDP, interest rates and inflation rates. Separately, the Argentine government is due to release November industrial production data. LIVECHAT- FX Week Ahead with Reuters FX analyst Jeremy Boulton Join Reuters FX analyst Jeremy Boulton for a look at the week's top topics and implications for the forex market.(0600/1100) To join the Global Markets Forum, click here: bit.ly/1kTxdKD (Compiled by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)
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