What to Watch in the Week Ahead and on Monday, March 23
(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) Week Ahead The coming week is a good one for economic news, as investors will get a look at data on consumer inflation, durable goods orders, and housing starts and building permits, and may help determine the direction of the dollar and interest rates in coming days as well. The dollar's trend appears to have resumed intact despite the dovish Federal Reserve, while interest rates, particularly long-dated bonds, look to continue to head lower on weak inflation data and economic figures that don't support the recent strength in the jobs report. Relatively solid data should support stocks well enough, though equity moves should be guided by other markets. A bit of a rebound in gasoline prices is seen pushing the U.S. consumer price index higher in February, although the year-on-year reading is seen staying stuck in negative territory - good news and bad news for the Federal Reserve, which is anxious to turn inflation higher. The report on Tuesday is expected to show the 12-month gain in the core CPI holding at 1.6 percent, which would at least offer solace that any downward drift is being arrested. Data on new home sales on Tuesday is seen slipping. Orders for long-lasting durables goods are seen moving higher in a report due on Wednesday, while the government is expected to revise higher its reading on fourth-quarter growth on Friday. The consulting and outsourcing company Accenture is expected to report a second-quarter profit below estimates on Thursday, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. The company has been battling the effects of a stronger dollar, which analysts believe could trigger another cut in Accenture's full-year profit forecast. Accenture's outsourcing business, which competes with India's Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services, has faced pricing pressure amid sluggish business spending and stiff competition in the last few quarters. Facebook's two-day F8 Developer Conference begins in San Francisco on Wednesday. Facebook may put the spotlight on its Messenger app during its annual developer conference, introducing new features that turn the messaging service into a full-fledged entertainment platform that can better compete against the likes of Snapchat and WeChat. The world's No.1 Internet social network is also likely to unveil new mobile advertising tools at the conference, as well as features for its Oculus virtual reality headset and its Instagram photo-sharing service. IHS Inc, the business research provider which receives nearly 40 percent of its revenue from information it supplies to energy companies, has been trying to acclimatize to the recent slump in oil prices. Industrials, which has offset the weakness from its energy business, is going to be a focus point for investors, along with subscription revenue. Investors will be looking for any revisions to its 2015 forecast. Profit and revenue for the first quarter, which are due to release on Tuesday, are expected to come in slightly below average analysts' estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. ConAgra Foods Inc, the maker of Slim Jim beef jerky and Chef Boyardee pasta, reports third-quarter results on Thursday. The company announced last month that it had appointed former Hillshire Brands Co Chief Executive Sean Connolly its CEO, replacing Gary Rodkin. ConAgra also cut its full-year profit forecast, citing a stronger dollar and weak sales in its private brands business. The for-profit education provider Apollo Education Group is expected to report a loss for second-quarter ended Feb. 28, hurt by a glitch in its new online classrooms that resulted in student attrition during the first quarter. Apollo, which has been trying to reverse student enrollment losses, implemented a new online classroom at the University of Phoenix to provide more personalized learning during the fourth quarter last year. However some computers couldn't connect with the new system and affected about 7,000 students. Investors will look for comments on Apollo's efforts to help students re-enroll in online classrooms, and an update on 2015 earnings forecast when the company reports earnings on Wednesday. Senate Banking Committee hearing on the Oversight and Transparency of the Financial Stability Oversight Council takes places on Wednesday. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to testify on FSOC transparency and other controversial topics, after the panel has come under fire from critics who say it operates in secret and does not give companies enough insight into whether they are being looked at for possible "designation" - a status that will impose greater regulation and capital requirements. Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd reports fourth-quarter results on Wednesday. The Chinese solar panel maker is expected to report a smaller quarterly loss helped by lower costs and improved demand according to analysts. Yingli has said it would focus on the lower-priced Chinese market following trade duties in the U.S. and the EU, which might hurt Yingli's margins. Chinese media outlets reported that China National Energy Administration raised its 2015 installation target to 17.8 gigawatt (GW) from 15 GW. Investors will look out for news on how Yingli benefits from EU raising 'floor price' for Chinese module sales in the European market. PVH Corp, the maker of Tommy Hilfiger jeans and Calvin Klein clothing, is expected to report profit below analysts' estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. The company, which gets about 45 percent of its revenue from international markets, warned in December that its results would be hurt by a strong dollar and intense competition in the U.S. apparel industry. PVH has also been hurt by a slump in demand for denim clothing. Investors will look for initial 2015 forecast, performance of the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands, and comments on the overall industry when the com[any reports fourth-quarter results on Wednesday. The recreational vehicle maker Winnebago Industries is expected to report higher second-quarter profit helped by higher sales of its towable and motorhomes and the fall in oil prices. Winnebago is also likely to benefit from a slightly lesser harsh winter compared to last year. Rival Thor Industries reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and said it benefitted from better weather in the quarter unlike last year. When the company reports earnings on Thursday, investors will be looking for outlook for the rest of the year and how the company is gearing up for the summer months, its key period when sales of recreational vehicle peaks. With a bare economic calendar in Canada next week, a speech from Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz will take the spotlight. The speech, to be delivered in London, will be the first one since the central bank kept interest rates on hold at the beginning of the month. After a surprise rate cut in January, analysts anticipate there will be one more reduction this year. Poloz's speech and subsequent press conference could help solidify expectations over whether the bank will cut rates or stay on the sidelines at its next meeting in April. On Tuesday Mexico government agency's data will reveal if inflation in early March remained at the central bank's 3 percent target, a nearly nine month low reached in the full month of February. On Wednesday, data will show how economic activity fared in January, after shrinking 0.34 percent in December on a monthly seasonally adjusted basis. On Thursday the central bank will likely announce it has decided to hold interest rates at a record low of 3 percent, according to 26 of 27 analysts polled by Reuters despite a slump in the peso. On Friday, the statistics institute will release trade balance data that illustrates how factory exports fared in February after slumping in January. The February jobless rate will be released the same day. MONDAY, March 23 A handful of U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers take to microphones a week after the central bank published surprisingly cautious forecasts for the economy and for planned interest rate hikes. Federal Reserve Vice Chair Stanley Fischer and San Francisco Fed President John Williams, another bellwether at the central bank, start things off. While the Fed's latest policy statement opens the door for tightening as soon as June, the forecasts suggest low inflation and pressure from a soaring dollar could delay "liftoff" to later in the year. Also, in Paris, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester speaks at a session before the Global Interdependence Center "New Policies for the Post Crisis Era" conference (0415/0815). National Association of Realtors is scheduled to issue existing home sales data for February. Sales of used homes likely rebounded last month from January's sharp decline, even as housing market recovery remains slow and uneven. In January, existing home sales were down to their lowest level in nine months driven by an inventory shortage. Home resales are seen up 1.7 percent to a 4.90 million-unit rate in February. (1000/1400) The national statistics institute of Mexico is scheduled to release private spending and aggregate demand data for the fourth quarter of 2014.(1000/1400) (Compiled by Astha Rawat in Bengaluru; Editing by Joyjeet Das)
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