What to Watch in the Week Ahead and on Tuesday, Sept 8
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Markets go into next week still shaken from more than two weeks of volatility and an uncertain outcome for the Federal Reserve. Which is to say, the volatility is going to continue in the coming week when the data slate is light, both in the United States and overseas. Stocks are keyed in on the 1867 level on the S&P 500, seen as a point of technical support that, if broken, could worsen the outlook for the market, and investors will keep watching measures of volatility to see if more selling could erupt.
Investors will look for U.S. Labor Department's job openings and labor turnover data on Wednesday. Job openings, a measure of labor demand, is likely to have risen to 5.301 million in July, compared to 5.249 million in the prior month. On Friday, the Labor Department will also release producer price index (PPI) for final demand for August. Economists expect PPI to have declined 0.1 percent, after it had risen 0.2 percent in July. Another report is expected to show import prices further dropped 1.6 percent in August. It had declined 0.9 percent in the previous month. Meanwhile, economists polled by Reuters expect the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index to have decreased in September to 91.4 from 91.9 earlier. Wholesale inventories data is scheduled to be released on Thursday, with an increase of 0.3 percent in July.
Apple Inc is expected to announce new iPhones and an Apple TV box at an event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California on Wednesday. Specifically, it is expected to announce the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, the same size as the 6 and 6 Plus but with new software and some internal hardware improvements. It is also expected to announce an upgrade to the Apple TV, but not a new bundled cable TV package, which most experts say won't launch until next year. It may also announce an updated iPad mini and a new iPad Pro aimed at the enterprise market.
On Friday, Kroger Co, the biggest U.S. supermarket operator, is expected to report second-quarter revenue slightly below analysts' average estimate.
On Wednesday, security software maker Palo Alto Networks Inc is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings slightly above analysts' average estimate. The seller of firewalls to prevent data breaches and block malware and viruses has been benefiting from strong demand from corporate clients looking to guard their data and networks from increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks.
Canadian yogawear retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc posts second-quarter results on Thursday. The company is expected to report a rise in revenue, driven mainly by increasing online sales and the popularity of its men's clothing range, which offsets the pressure from a fall in the Canadian dollar. However, the company's margins are expected to be under pressure as its stores grow larger in size and the company expands in Europe and Asia.
The European Commission has set a Friday deadline to decide on the approval for General Electric Co's purchase of the of the power equipment business of France's Alstom. The roughly $13.5 billion deal, the biggest acquisition ever for GE, will bring together two of the world's largest manufacturers of power plant hardware. The decision will allow the U.S. industrial conglomerate to finally carry out a major cost-cutting program 16 months after first announcing the deal.
Barnes & Noble Inc posts first-quarter results on Wednesday. The bookstore chain is expected to report profit above analysts' average estimate. Barnes & Noble is improving store merchandise, featuring popular books and movies and integrating its online and retail platforms to reverse falling sales. Some of the company's efforts such as overhauling its toys and gifts division have been paying off. The company last month spun off its profitable college books business to focus more on its retail bookstores and hired a new CEO for the bookstore arm. Investors will look for updates to the forecast, information on trends and store traffic, and comments from the new CEO. Continued...