What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Tuesday, April 28

Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:02pm 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)

The Federal Open Market Committee begins a two-day meeting on interest rate policy. The Fed has already ruled out an April rate hike, so not much is expected from this meeting. Investors will watch for signs that the Fed is getting more comfortable with inflation data.

Lower first-quarter earnings are in store for Dow component Merck & Co Inc as weak growth of its Januvia diabetes drug, a strong dollar and generic competition for other drugs weigh on the drugmaker's results. Foremost on the investor's mind, however, will be additional hints of how the company's array of potentially lucrative immuno-oncology drugs are shaping up in clinical trials.

Pfizer Inc, a Dow 30 company, is expected to report lower first-quarter earnings, hurt by generic competition for its Celebrex painkiller and conclusion of a longtime co-promotion agreement that had allowed it to sell Amgen Inc's blockbuster Enbrel arthritis drug in the United States. Investors, however, will pay greater attention to updates from clinical trials of newer drugs, especially its potential blockbuster Ibrance treatment for breast cancer.

The U.S. Conference Board is expected to report that its consumer confidence index rose to 102.5 in April from 101.3 in March. (1000/1400) Separately, the S&P Case Shiller survey is expected to show house prices increased in 20 metropolitan areas in February. (0900/1300)

Ford Motor Co will report first-quarter results before the market opens. Analysts expect the automaker to report a profit of 27 cents per share, up slightly from a year earlier. Focus will be on Ford's U.S. truck business and its effort to narrow losses in Europe.

Twitter Inc is expected to report an 80 percent surge in first-quarter revenue as the ubiquitous online microblogging service manages to make more money from advertisers keen to reach its nearly 300 million users.

Kraft Foods Group Inc is expected to report its first-quarter results, a month after the company announced a tieup with H.J. Heinz Co. Investors expect Brazilian private equity firm 3G, the backer of Heinz, to use its cost-cutting playbook on the combined entity.

Satellite radio service Sirius XM Holdings Inc is expected to report a rise in first-quarter profit and revenue as strong U.S. auto sales in the first three months of the year are expected to have benefited the company. Investors will be looking for the company's 2015 outlook.   Continued...