What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Thursday, April 7

Wed Apr 6, 2016 2:37pm 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) In a rare spectacle, Janet Yellen and her three predecessors - Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan, and Paul Volcker - will discuss in the Paul A. Volcker Distinguished Speaker Program in New York, their decisions on monetary policy since the 1970s, when Volcker took the Fed's reins to tame runaway U.S. inflation. Since then, Greenspan deftly steered the world's largest economy through the Great Moderation of the 1990s and, in the following decade, in a bad blight on his legacy, toward the recession. Bernanke largely dealt with that crisis through eight tumultuous years at the helm of the central bank, while Yellen over the last two years has orchestrated the first rate hike in nearly a decade. (1730/2130)

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George could give clues on divisions over rate path when she speaks on the U.S. economy before an economic forum hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's Omaha Branch. George wanted to raise interest rates in March when she was the lone dissenter on the Fed's rate setting committee. (2015/0015) New U.S. applications for unemployment benefits likely fell last week as the labor market continues to gain muscle. The strengthening labor market is attracting both discouraged and new job seekers into market, which is likely to keep wage growth moderate and allow the Federal Reserve to maintain its policy of gradually raising interest rates. Economists estimate first-time applications for state unemployment benefits would have fallen to 270,000 last week from 276,000 the prior week. It would be the 57th straight week that claims remained below the 300,000 threshold associated with a healthy labor market. (0830/1230) Separately, the Federal Reserve issues consumer credit data for February. (1500/1900) ConAgra Foods Inc, the maker of Slim Jim beef jerky and Chef Boyardee pasta, is likely to report third-quarter sales slightly above analysts' average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. Investors will be looking out for further cost saving measures, as well as the health of its consumer foods business, where sales have been recovering for the past three quarters. The value of Canadian building permits is expected to have rebounded by 4.8 percent in February, though that will only partially offset the steep decline seen the month before. (0830/1230) Postmedia Network Canada Corp releases its second-quarter results. The National Post publisher's quarterly loss is expected to shrink as it continues to cut costs to offset the impact of falling print advertising revenue. Investors will be looking for comments on further cost cuts and measures to increase profitability. Inflation in Brazil as measured by the IGP-DI price index is expected to have risen in March but at a slower pace than February. It probably rose 0.48 percent in March, compared to a 0.79 percent gain in February. Separately, Mexico's statistics institute releases inflation data for March. Bank of Japan holds quarterly meeting of its regional branch managers. Governor Kuroda will deliver a brief speech at the outset of the meeting. The branch managers will also publish the BOJ's quarterly report on regional economies, which is among key factors the central bank scrutinizes at its rate review on April 27-28. LIVECHAT - ODDS ON BREXIT with Mike Smithson, editor of PoliticalBetting.com Join PoliticalBetting.com editor Mike Smithson for a look at what the polls and bookmakers are telling us about the likelihood of a "Brexit" when Britain goes to the polls in June to vote on its future with the European Union. (0600/1000) To join the Global Markets Forum, click here bit.ly/1kTxdKD (Compiled by Sourav Bose in Bengaluru; Edited by Don Sebastian)