What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Thursday, Mar. 5

Wed Mar 4, 2015 2:33pm EST
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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)

The U.S. Federal Reserve releases results of its annual bank "stress tests". The tests measure
how banks hold up in a hypothetical crisis in a series of economic simulations. Banks need to
keep their top-tier capital above 5 percent in a simulated severe crisis. The tests are followed
a week later by a more high-profile exercise to see whether the banks can execute planned
shareholder returns such as dividends and share buybacks. 
Warehouse club operator Costco Wholesale Corp is likely to report a second-quarter profit below
the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. Costco reported an 8
percent rise in same-store sales in December. The company said this week that it would accept
and launch co-branded credit cards with Citi and Visa, after ending its years-long partnership
with American Express. Investors will look for management comments after Wal-Mart decided to
increase minimum wages. Costco is known to pay higher wages to its employees, a fact long used
by activists to demand higher wages from Wal-Mart and other retailers.
The Labor Department's weekly report on initial claims for state unemployment benefits is
expected to show a drop of 18,000 to a seasonally adjusted 295,000 from the prior week's
313,000, according to analysts polled by Reuters. (0830/1330) Later, the Commerce Department
issues factory orders for January. Economists expect new orders for manufactured goods to have
increased 0.2 percent in the month after declining 3.4 percent in December. (1000/1500) 
Analysts expect Canadian Solar Inc's profit to more than triple in the fourth quarter, helped by
strong demand from its high-margin business of building solar plants. The panel maker has been
investing heavily in its utility business. Canadian Solar has also been expanding in newer
markets, besides growing its presence in China, the world's largest consumer of solar products.
Investors will want to know how slowing growth in Japan will affect the company and also about
Canadian Solar's previously announced plans on forming its own yield company in 2015.
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams speaks on the economic outlook
before the CFA Society Hawaii 10th Annual Economic Forecast Dinner. (2315/0415) Separately,
Michael Stegman, counselor to the Treasury Secretary for Housing Finance Policy, speaks before
the Goldman Sachs Third Annual Housing Finance Conference in New York. (0950/1450)
Boeing Co Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith speaks at the JP Morgan Aviation, Transportation
and Industrials conference in New York. He is likely to be asked about the growing mountain of
deferred costs Boeing has amassed producing the 787. 
The European Central Bank's governing council meets in Cyprus, followed by an interest rate
announcement and news conference by ECB head Mario Draghi. The ECB will outline the mechanics of
its new bond-buying programme. Separately, the Bank of England announces its interest rate
decision after the conclusion of its monetary policy committee meeting.
Canada's Ivey Purchasing Managers Index is forecast to show that the pace of purchasing activity
rose in February. Economists expect the seasonally adjusted index to rise to 50.0 after it
tumbled to 45.4 in January.
Mexico's central bank will post its poll of private sector analysts for February, after analysts
cut their 2015 growth forecast to 3.29 percent and forecast a sharply weaker peso for the close
of the year.

 (Reporting By Astha Rawat; Editing by Simon Jennings)