What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Thursday, March 12

Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:48pm 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)

Discount retailer Dollar General Corp reports fourth-quarter results. The company recently lost
out on its bid for Family Dollar to smaller rival Dollar Tree. Analysts expect Dollar General to
make smaller acquisitions and accelerate its store rollout in an attempt to compete more
aggressively. Investors will look for comments on increasing private label offerings, expense
reduction efforts, global sourcing initiatives and shrink management to support margins.
    
The Congressional Budget Office releases its analysis of President Barack Obama's fiscal 2016
budget proposal, showing how much his tax and spending proposals would increase or decrease U.S.
deficits compared to current-law estimates. The forecasts will feed into a contentious budget
debate in Washington as Republicans, who now fully control Congress, try to push through
spending cuts to federal benefits programs and shift more resources to the military. Obama, a
Democrat, has proposed significant spending increases on education and infrastructure, financed
largely by tax increases on the wealthy.
    
The U.S. Commerce Department releases the retail sales report for February. The gauge of
consumer spending is expected to have increased 0.3 percent after a 0.8 percent decline in
January. (0830/1330) Separately, analysts expect initial claims for state unemployment benefits
to fall to a seasonally adjusted 305,000 for the week in comparison to the prior week's 320,000.
(0830/1330)
    
Shares of cement company Summit Materials Inc, controlled by Blackstone Group LP, are expected
to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The initial public offering is expected to be
priced at $17-$19 per share, valuing the company at about $1.8 billion at the high 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 will fall to 59.5 percent from 79.5 percent after the offering.
    
Penn West Petroleum Ltd reports fourth-quarter results. The company has struggled to cut costs
and sell off assets as it seeks to survive the fall in oil prices.
    
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 return to profit 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, and has
lowered price points and is controlling inventory to be able to discount less. Investors will
look for comments on strategy and the company's initial forecast for 2015.
    
JA Solar Holdings Co is expected to report a higher fourth-quarter profit, helped by strong
demand for panels, mainly from China. The Chinese solar panel maker said last year that it would
set up plants in North America, among other regions, to avoid U.S. trade duties. Investors will
want details about the plan and how the company will be affected by slowing growth in Japan.
    
Media company Walt Disney Co holds its annual meeting of shareholders. Investors will vote on
whether to separate the chairman and CEO position held by Bob Iger. The move has failed in
previous attempts. 
    
United Technologies Corp hosts its annual meeting for investors in New York, the first broad
business review led by CEO Greg Hayes since he was elevated from finance chief to the top job in
November. Hayes has shaken up his top management ranks and spoken of becoming more aggressive in
seeking deals. Wall Street is keen to see whether the new chief will reshape the U.S.
conglomerate's portfolio of businesses that serve the aerospace and commercial building
industries.
    
Bank of Canada official Rhys Mendes will testify to the House of Commons finance committee on
the impact of oil prices on the economy. Mendes, deputy chief of the Canadian Economic Analysis
Department at the central bank, will be one of five different panelists appearing at the
committee's request. It is part of a series of meetings on the impact of cheap oil. The central
bank's view on how serious an impact the plunge in oil prices will have is critical to gauging
where it will head on monetary policy.
    
Statistics Canada releases fourth-quarter capacity utilization rate. Analysts expect the rate to
be marginally higher at 83.6 percent after rising 83.4 percent in the third quarter. (0830/1330)
Meanwhile, Canada's new housing price index is expected to have risen 0.1 percent in January.
(0830/1330)
    
Brazil's central bank will publish the minutes of its last rate-setting meeting, providing
markets some clues on whether officials will keep the aggressive pace of rate hikes or ease the
cycle to avoid a deeper economic recession. A sharply weaker local currency is increasing
inflationary pressures, raising the stakes for the central bank that has promised to bring
inflation to 4.5 percent by late 2016.

 (Compiled by Astha Rawat in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings)