What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Wednesday, Feb. 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) Actavis Plc, which will buy Botox maker Allergan next month, is expected to announce a higher fourth-quarter profit. Earnings are expected to have increased due to acquisitions by Chief Executive Brent Saunders, who took the top spot after the company bought Forest Labs last year and secured the acquisition of Allergan. Federal Open Market Committee issues minutes from its meeting of Jan. 27-28. (1400/1900) The U.S. Commerce Department is expected to report that housing starts were up to a 1.07 million-unit pace, compared with 1.089 million units in December. Groundbreaking for U.S. homes continued to gain momentum in January after reaching the highest levels in more than six years the prior month. The level of groundbreaking and permit applications should bolster expectations that a recovery is beginning to accelerate. (0830/1330) Labor Department issues Producer Price Index for January, which is expected to have fallen 0.4 percent. (0830/1330) Federal Reserve issues Industrial Production for January. (0915/1415) Treasury Department releases a report on Treasury international capital for December. (1600/2100) Duke Energy Corp, the largest U.S. power company by market value, is expected to report a lower fourth-quarter profit as the company grapples with costs. The company has been retiring some coal plants to comply with U.S. environmental regulations and selling unregulated power assets to deal with pricing uncertainties. Investors will want to know about the company's cost cuts and future of demand and pricing. Oil and natural gas producer EOG Resources Inc, a major player in North Dakota's Bakken shale formation, is expected to report a drop in fourth-quarter profit amid tumbling crude prices. Federal Reserve Board Governor Jerome Powell gives a lecture, "Financial Institutions, Financial Markets and Financial Stability" before the New York University Stern School of Business, Center for Global Economy and Business Lecture event. (1700/2200) U.S. Treasury's chief economist, Karen Dynan, will speak on a panel on debt deleveraging. (1230/1730) Barrick Gold Corp, the world's biggest gold producer, is expected to report lower fourth-quarter earnings as price falls. Barrick's 2014 gold production is expected to have increased modestly due to better performances in its Goldstrike, Lugunas Norte and Acacia mines. Investors look at how Barrick plans to reduce its $13.1 billion of long-term debt, how talks are going on with the Zambian government on a royalty hike and on development timelines for its four Nevada projects. Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc, the owner of Waldorf Astoria and Conrad luxury hotel brands, is expected to report a higher revenue and profit for the fourth quarter, helped by a rise in business travel in the United States. Unlike rival Starwood Hotels, which has nearly half of its rooms outside North America, Hilton operates about 76 percent of its room inside the United States, and is expected to be less affected by a strong dollar. Investors will be looking for comments on 2015 forecast, and how a probable decline in inbound travel due to a strengthening dollar might impact its key markets such as New York and Honolulu. Marriott International Inc, owner of the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotel brands, is expected to report a higher fourth-quarter profit as business travel rose and it raised room rates. Marriott, which has a large percentage of its hotels in the United States, is less affected by currency fluctuations. Investors will be looking for comments on any plans to spin off the company's time share business after Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc said last week it would spin off its time share business. Navigation device maker Garmin Ltd is expected to report a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. The company had raised its full-year proforma earnings forecast, citing increasing sales in its fitness and aviation businesses, helping offset falling sales in personal navigation devices, its largest business. Analysts will be looking for information on new products and guidance. Chemical maker Huntsman Corp is expected to report a lower fourth-quarter profit, hurt by weak titanium dioxide (TiO2) prices. Huntsman had said it would reduce TiO2 capacity by 13 percent at its European unit to generate annual savings of about $35 million. The company, whose 70 percent revenue came from outside the U.S. in 2013, is also expected to be hurt by a stronger U.S. dollar. The company had cut about 900 jobs in December. Investors will want to know about the company's cost-cutting efforts and how weak oil prices stand to benefit its margins. SolarCity Corp, the top U.S. solar installer, announces results for the fourth quarter after the bell. SolarCity is backed by Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk and is growing rapidly due to strong state and federal support for solar power. Having eased monetary policy less than four months ago, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) is set to maintain its "quantitative and qualitative easing" (QQE) stimulus that aims to hit 2 percent inflation by printing money at an annual pace of 80 trillion yen. It is likely to revise up its assessment of exports and output, encouraged by a much-awaited rebound in overseas shipments that helped the economy emerge from recession. But that is as far as the optimism goes. A number of BOJ officials, including some on the nine-member board, are concerned about the slow recovery in consumer sentiment, hit by last year's sales tax hike and rising import costs from a weak yen. Focus on what BOJ Governor Kuroda will say about the weak-yen repercussions at his post-meeting news conference. Canadian wholesale trade is expected to have increased 0.3 in December from November. It dropped by 0.3 percent in November from the previous month. (0830/1330) (Compiled by Sourav Bose in Bengaluru; Edited by Don Sebastian)
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