What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Friday, May 1

Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:37pm 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)

Dow component Chevron Corp, the second-largest U.S. oil producer, is expected to report a drop in first-quarter profit as commodity prices slump.

Cable company Charter Communications Inc is expected to report first-quarter revenue below estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. Reuters reported on Monday that Time Warner Cable was open to merger discussions with Charter. Investors will be interested in whether Charter, backed by activist investor John Malone, will make a second bid for Time Warner Cable.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc is expected to report first-quarter results. The company is expected to benefit from growth in the U.S. economy, given Berkshire's diversification with close to 90 operating businesses in areas such as insurance, energy, food, industrial products and a railroad. Berkshire also owns well over $100 billion in stock, with big stakes in American Express, Coca-Cola, IBM and Wells Fargo. The company's results will come a day before its annual meeting in Omaha, where shareholders will celebrate Buffett's imminent 50th anniversary at Berkshire's helm, and listen to him and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger answer questions from them, journalists and analysts.

The U.S. Commerce Department is expected to report that construction spending rose 0.5 percent in March after slipping 0.1 percent in February. (1000/1400) The Institute for Supply Management is expected to report that its national factory index rose to 52 in April from 51.5 in March. (1000/1400) Automobile manufacturers are expected to report that sales moderated to a 16.9 million-unit rate in April after rising to a 17.15 million-unit rate in March. (1330/1730)

Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester, who speaks on "Consumer Credit: Suggested Future Directions for Policy-Relevant Research" before the Conference on Regulating Consumer Credit in Philadelphia, will weigh in on the just-released FOMC statement, in which investors get a sense of how much the economy's weak winter surprised policymakers. Toward the hawkish end of Fed officials, Mester could double down on her previous recommendation to hike rates in June. (0830/1230)

San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams, a policy centrist with a vote this year on Federal Reserve interest rate policy, is among the first policymakers to speak after the Fed emerges from its self-imposed communications blackout following its April 28-29 meeting. Was the tone of that meeting dovish, hawkish or somewhere in between? The title of his speech at the Chapman University Conference in Orange, California, "Monetary Policy in Financial Markets: Is there a New Paradigm?" gives few hints, but he will be asked for his view of recent weak economic data and prospects of a rate hike in the coming months. (1545/1945)

TransCanada Corp, Canada's second-largest pipeline company, is scheduled to report first-quarter results. It reported a better-than-expected fourth quarter profit in February, driven mainly by increased earnings from its Canadian operations.

Power company Duke Energy Corp is expected to report a lower first-quarter profit, hurt by rising costs. The company is increasing reliance on natural gas and is retiring some coal plants to comply with U.S. environmental regulations. Lower income from the company's operations outside North America has also weighed on profits in recent quarters. Investors will want to know about Duke's expectations for its utilities holdings, demand and operations in markets other than North America.   Continued...