What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Thursday, March 3
(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) Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co, which houses the former Hewlett-Packard Co's corporate hardware and services businesses, is expected to report first-quarter revenue and profit slightly below market consensus, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. Analysts expect weak IT spending to hurt HPE's services and storage businesses. Investors' focus will be on how HPE, headed by Meg Whitman, plans to continue its cost-cutting efforts to protect the bottom line. New U.S. applications for unemployment benefits likely slipped last week as the labor market continues to show no stress from the recent upheaval in the financial markets. Signs of sustained labor market strength should further alleviate fears of a recession that had contributed to a heavy global stock market selloff. According to a Reuters survey, first-time applications for state unemployment benefits likely dipped 1,000 to 271,000 last week. (0830/1330) Also, the ISM is expected to report that its non-manufacturing index edged lower to 53.2 in February. (1000/1500) A report from the Commerce Department is expected to show factory orders rebounded 2.0 percent in January after slumping 2.9 percent in December. (1000/1500) Kroger Co is likely to have done well in the fourth quarter despite a drop in food prices, as it gains market share in areas such as Chicago. The supermarket operator is also likely to benefit from the closure of 269 stores by Wal-Mart. When Kroger releases results, investors will also be interested in any confirmation of the company being in the running to acquire specialty grocery retailer Fresh Market, as reported by Reuters in February. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan has said low inflation could mean the Fed should not do any more rate hikes for an "extended period," but with recent inflation data showing some signs of strength his views will be up for a revisit. He will speak on economic conditions and monetary policy before the University of Texas Investment Management Company 20th Anniversary Event, in Austin, Texas. (1045/1545) Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, Richmond and St. Louis will release findings from the Small Business Credit Survey, a joint regional survey on small business credit conditions. (1400/1900) Barnes & Noble Inc is expected to report a third-quarter profit slightly below analysts' estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. As it continues to battle for market share with online retailers such as Amazon.com, the largest U.S. bookstore chain has been trying to turn around a slump in sales by selling a variety of merchandise at its stores including toys, signed books and craft brewing kits. However, comparable sales rose only 1.6 percent in the holiday season, while revenue fell due to lower online sales. Investors will look for a forecast, comments on best-selling books and trends during the holiday shopping season. Mining equipment maker Joy Global Inc, which gets about 60 percent of its revenue from coal miners, is expected to report a fall in its quarterly revenue as customers have cut spending due to weak prices. When it releases first-quarter results, investors will be looking for an update on fiscal 2016 forecast. Oil producer Canadian Natural Resources Ltd is expected to post a smaller quarterly profit, hurt by lower oil prices in the fourth quarter. The company said in November it would sell most of its royalty assets to PrairieSky Royalty Ltd in a C$1.8 billion deal. The focus this quarter will be on further plans to improve cash flow and any update on 2016 capital spending plans. SNC-Lavalin Group Inc, a Canadian engineering and construction company, is expected to post a fourth-quarter profit, compared with a year-ago loss, helped by cost cuts. Investors will look for comments on company's planned cost-cutting measures. Brazil's gross domestic product data for 2015 will likely confirm the country's largest contraction since 1990s after a calamitous drop in industrial and service output and domestic consumption in the once emerging-market star. The data will also raise pressure on President Dilma Rousseff to rescue the economy even as she struggles with the lingering threat of removal. The GDP data will also point to another contraction this year as weakening investments keep corporate spending in check despite some moderate improvement in confidence levels. LIVE CHAT on U.S. jobs with market strategist Lou Brien of DRW Trading Lou Brien watches global markets from Chicago and will take questions in the Forum on the latest economic data, possible Federal Reserve moves and the global outlook just ahead of the often markets-moving U.S. monthly payrolls report. (1000/1500) To join the Global Markets Forum, click here bit.ly/1kTxdKD (Compiled By Nayyar Rasheed in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)
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