What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Thursday, May 7

Wed May 6, 2015 2:46pm 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)

Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd will report results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year before markets open and hold a post-earnings conference call at 0730 ET (1130 GMT). Analysts expect Alibaba's quarterly revenue to fall short of consensus estimates, hurt by a slowdown in gross merchandise volume growth.

New applications for unemployment insurance likely picked up last week, but stayed at levels consistent with a labor market that is generally improving. Analysts expect the U.S. Labor Department to report that jobless claims were up to 280,000 last week, from the prior week's 262,000. (0830/1230)

Broadcasting company CBS Corp's first-quarter revenue is expected to be hurt by a strong dollar, which rose about 9 percent against a basket of major currencies in the first three months of the year. Higher programming costs are also likely to weigh on the company's profit. Walt Disney Co's cable networks business was also hit by higher programming costs due to increased contract rates for high-end National Football League and Major League Baseball games.

With a rate hike officially on the table at each and every meeting of the Federal Reserve starting next month, Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans will defend his view - in the minority at the U.S. central bank - that the Fed will probably need to wait until 2016 before raising interest rates. He'll speak on current economic conditions and monetary policy in a live interview with CNBC's Steve Liesman during "Squawk Box," from New York. (0830/1230)

Time Inc, the publisher of Sports Illustrated, Time and People magazines, had warned that sales would decline further this year as it grapples with falling circulation and advertising revenue. Most publishers, including Time, have been cutting costs, slashing their workforce and beefing up digital services. This could help the company report a first-quarter profit above analysts' estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data.

Biotechnology company Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc is expected to report a first-quarter profit below analyst expectations, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine, despite a label expansion of its flagship eye injection Eylea, which was also established as superior to rival drugs. Still, sales of Eylea, which accounted for about 61 percent of Regeneron's revenue last year, are expected to match expectations. Investors are increasingly focusing on the company's non-Eylea assets, particularly on the approval and potential launch of its touted blockbuster cholesterol drug, alirocumab, developed with France's Sanofi.

Canada's Manulife Financial Corp reports first-quarter results and is holding its annual meeting in Toronto. The insurer's results will be closely watched after a lackluster fourth quarter.

Telus Corp, one of Canada's three dominant telecommunications companies, is expected to report a bigger first-quarter profit, helped by higher revenue from both its wireless and wireline businesses. The company said last month that it would invest a total of about $10.9 billion in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia through 2018. Investors will look for comments on how the investments will help Telus expand.   Continued...