REFILE-What to Watch in the Week Ahead and on Monday, March 9
(Refiles to remove reference to report analyzing impact of President Obama's budget proposals in paragraph 14) WEEK AHEAD The steady stream of strong U.S. labor market figures has raised expectations of an acceleration in plans for interest rate hikes. As a result, the repricing taking place in the bond and forex markets should continue. Long-dated yields, now at levels not seen in a couple of months, could continue to push higher, particularly as investors await supply in the form of 3-, 10- and 30-year Treasury auctions. Euro/dollar could break through 1.08 before long. The stock market has run into a bit of choppiness of late, without further catalysts to push higher as investors weigh higher short-term rates as well against stronger economic growth. Analysts expect the U.S. federal government to report $190.5 billion budget deficit on Wednesday. A day later, the Commerce Department will release the retails sales report. The gauge of consumer spending is expected to have risen 0.3 percent in the month after a 0.8 percent decline in January. The labor department will show on Friday that its producer price index for final demand rose 0.3 percent in February, after dipping 0.8 percent in January. On Tuesday, the National Federation of Independent Business will release its Small Business Optimism Index, while the Commerce Department will report wholesale inventories for January. Barnes & Noble Inc is expected to report third-quarter revenue below analysts' estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. The biggest U.S. book store chain said last month that it would keep its Nook Digital unit and spin off its college bookstore business, scrapping an earlier plan to divest a combination of both as it seeks to focus on its core retail business and expand its online offerings. Barnes & Noble has been struggling with falling book sales and weak demand for its Nook tablets. Investors will look for details on strategy, the performance of the core retail book store division and an update to the full-year forecast when the company reports results on Tuesday. Crescent Point Energy Corp, Canada's No.3 independent oil producer, releases its fourth-quarter results and its forecast for 2105 on Tuesday. The company, which focuses on producing oil from shale fields in Western Canada and the United States, is expected to feel the pinch of the slump in oil prices. Shares of cement company Summit Materials Inc, controlled by Blackstone Group LP, are expected to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. The initial public offering is expected to be priced at $17-$19 per share, valuing the company at about $1.8 billion at the higher end of the range. The offering of 22.2 million shares is expected to raise up to $422.2 million. Summit Materials supplies aggregates and produces cement, ready-mixed concrete and asphalt paving mix. Blackstone's voting power would fall to 59.5 percent from 79.5 percent after the offering. Struggling teen apparel retailer Aeropostale Inc is expected to report fourth-quarter revenue above the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. The retailer said last month that it might go into the black after two years of losses due to higher traffic, better margins and lower costs during the holiday shopping season. To fight a persistent slump in sales, Aeropostale has begun offering newer styles in dresses, tops and jeans, has lowered its price points and is controlling inventory to be able to discount less. When the mall-based retailer reports results on Thursday, investors will look for comments on strategy and initial forecast for 2015. Penn West Petroleum Ltd reports fourth-quarter results on Thursday. The company has struggled to lower costs and sell off assets as it seeks to survive weak oil prices that have put its future at risk. JA Solar Holdings Co is expected to report a higher fourth-quarter profit, helped by strong demand for panels, mainly from the world's biggest market, China. The Chinese solar panel maker had said last year that it would set up plants in North America, among other regions, to avoid U.S. trade duties. When the company reports results on Thursday, investors will want details about the plan and related expenses and how the company will be affected by slowing growth in Japan. Mexican inflation data will show if a sharp drop in the peso is stoking higher consumer prices, which could back bets that Mexican policymakers could raise interest rates before the U.S. Federal Reserve. Industrial output data for January on Friday will show if factory output picked up after a slump late last year, while a drop in oil output is also expected to have dampened activity at the start of 2015. MONDAY MARCH 9 Apple is expected to unveil its smartwatch. The smartwatch will spearhead Apple's initial foray into the burgeoning field of wearable devices. The company is expected to detail how the device will work and how it will be different from other smartwatches in the market, such as Samsung's Galaxy Gear. The largest U.S. company by market value is expected to imprint its easy-functionality on the smartwatch. McDonald's Corp reports its last month of same-restaurant sales under the tenure of former CEO Don Thompson. Investors will be looking for signals that Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook has new plans for reviving sales. Apparel retailer Urban Outfitters Inc reports fourth-quarter results. The company released preliminary results in February, reporting a rise in comparable sales for the first time this fiscal year. It has been overhauling stores and merchandise at its flagship Urban Outfitters stores to fight a slump in sales, while continuing to offer fewer discounts at its full-price Anthropologie and Free People divisions. Apart from the quarterly profit, investors will look for initial forecast for 2015. Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester speaks on the economic outlook and monetary policy before the National Association for Business Economics annual Economic Policy Conference in Washington. (1425/1825) Separately, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher speaks on "Reflections on 10 Years at the Fed" before the Founding Director's Lecture Series at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy in Houston. (1930/2330 Congressional Budget Office releases updated baseline budget estimates and new cost estimates of insurance coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act. New baseline will reflect stronger job growth over the past four months since data was locked for its previous forecast. This may bring forecast deficits down, helping to grease the path for lawmakers to ease sequester spending constraints. The event was postponed from Friday, March 6 due to weather conditions. Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp releases report on housing starts for February. The seasonally adjusted annualized rate of housing starts is expected to have declined to 175,000 units from 187,300 units last month, according to analysts. (0815/1315) (Compiled by Astha Rawat in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey)
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