What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Wednesday, May 18
(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) Federal Open Market Committee issues minutes from its meeting of April 26-27, 2016. The Federal Reserve has kept the door open for an interest rate hike in June and the minutes could give an indication whether the opening is just a crack or perhaps the chances of an increase are substantial. However, markets have almost priced out a rate hike before September, given sluggish growth at the beginning of the year. The rise in consumer prices in April is likely to be welcomed by Fed officials who last month softened their language on inflation at the end of a regular meeting, noting that it continued to run below target because of "earlier declines in energy prices and falling prices of non-energy imports." (1400/1800) Network equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc is expected to post a fall in third-quarter revenue, which, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine, may still come above analysts' average estimate. The company boosted its share buyback plan in February by $15 billion. Investors and analysts would be looking out for Cisco's fourth-quarter forecast and additional details on its share buyback plan. Discount retailer Target Corp will report first-quarter revenue below analysts' estimates, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine data. Subdued customer demand cited by other department stores is likely to hurt Target. However, the company will benefit from a diversified merchandise mix that is not heavily exposed to apparel unlike some of its peers. Other than its forecast, investors will also be interested in any commentary on the controversial North Carolina bathroom law, which has angered a section of its consumers and raised concerns about a potential sales impact. Office supplies retailer Staples Inc, looking to invigorate itself after a second failed merger attempt with Office Depot Inc, is expected to report first-quarter sales above analysts' expectations, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. Investors will be eager to hear the company's outlook, measures it will take to arrest 12 straight quarters of falling sales and details on the company's decision to explore strategic alternatives for its European operations. Lowes Cos Inc, the second-largest U.S. home improvement retailer, is likely to report first-quarter sales above the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. The company, like larger rival Home Depot, is expected to have had strong sales in the quarter as consumers chose to spend more on home improvement over other discretionary categories such as clothes. Salesforce.com Inc, the world's largest maker of online sales software, is expected to report a rise in first-quarter revenue, which could beat analysts' average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. The company has been benefiting as more businesses opt for cheaper and easier cloud software services. Teen apparel retailer American Eagle Outfitters Inc is expected to report first-quarter sales below average analysts estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. Mall-based retailers have seen sales fall as millennials increasingly shop for clothes online, pushing several popular teen apparel retailers such as Aeropostale, American Apparel and PacSun to file for bankruptcy. However, American Eagle sales has been steadily recovering in the past year as the retailer has focused on offering more items at full price by minimizing promotions. Apparel retailer Urban Outfitters Inc is expected to report first-quarter profit and sales slightly below analysts' estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. The company is struggling to revive sales at Anthropologie, its largest brand, that is overshadowing strong demand for its bohemian-inspired Free People brand. Videogame publisher Take-Two Interactive Software Inc is expected to report a profit for the fourth quarter above analysts' average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. Take-Two is expected to benefit from sales of "Grand Theft Auto V", which was released in 2013, as well as revenue from its online, multi-player mode version. The company has yet to announce another Rockstar Games release, which usually drives significant revenue growth for the company, in 2016. Google's annual I/O developer conference - which is the premiere event for new product announcements, demonstrations and developer workshops - kicks off in Mountain View, California. CEO Sundar Pichai is expected to discuss rumored initiatives such as the new virtual reality and hardware divisions, as well as other products and initiatives, during his two-hour opening keynote address. The three-day event is likely to provide insights into Project Tango, Google's 3D-sensing camera and updates about a possible combination of Chrome operating system with Android. Bob Iger, chairman and chief executive of Walt Disney Co, will participate in a question-and-answer session at the 3rd Annual MoffettNathanson Media and Communications Summit. Investors will be looking out for anything interesting on ESPN or the search for Iger's successor. Johnson & Johnson will hold an all-day meeting to discuss its array of medical devices and those in development, which it hopes may revive growth of the struggling medical devices unit. The company in January said it would cut 3,000 jobs in the business, or about 4 to 6 percent of its global workforce, as part of a restructuring meant to save the company $800 million to $1 billion a year by 2019. General Electric Co Chief Executive Jeff Immelt will give a presentation at 2016 Electrical Products Group Conference. Immelt is likely to give updates on the GE Capital divestiture and plans for share buybacks and other details. Statistics Canada will release data on foreign investment in Canadian securities in March. Foreign investors bought the largest amount of Canadian securities in four months in February and investors will look to see if that trend continues. Figures on Canadian purchases of foreign securities will also be released. (0830/1230) Chile's gross domestic product likely grew by 1.2 percent in the first quarter from the fourth on seasonally adjusted terms. On an annual basis, first-quarter growth is expected to have been 1.8 percent. LIVECHAT with JP Morgan economist Jim Glassman Jim Glassman, head of economics for JP Morgan's commercial bankers, will take questions in the Forum on business growth prospects, the effects of cheaper oil on the global economy and the impact of a new presidency on the dollar . (1000/1400) To join the Global Markets Forum, click here bit.ly/1kTxdKD (Compiled By Nayyar Rasheed and Sourav Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)
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