What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Wednesday, April 29

Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:26pm 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 ends its two-day meeting on monetary policy. The Fed has already ruled out an April interest rate hike. So not much is expected in terms of policy and guidance. A statement is scheduled for release at 1400 ET (1800 GMT).

MasterCard Inc, the world's No.2 debit and credit card company, is expected to report a fall in first-quarter revenue, hurt by a strong dollar. MasterCard gets about 60 percent of its payment volumes from outside the United States. Analysts expect a decline in U.S. spending activity in the first quarter due to low gas prices to remain a drag on the company's earnings.

The U.S. economy is expected to have braked sharply in the first quarter, hurt by colder-than-usual winter weather and a strong dollar. Economists polled by Reuters expect the government's first snapshot of gross domestic product to show the economy expanded at a 1.0 percent annual rate. A rebound is expected in the second quarter, but it's unclear how strong it will be. (0830/1230) Separately, the National Association of Realtors is expected to report pending home sales rose 1.0 percent in March after rising 3.1 percent in February. (1000/1400)

Media company Time Warner Inc is expected to report first-quarter revenue below the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. Time Warner had warned that its subscription revenue growth would slow this year due to a strong dollar. The company, however, is expected to report profit above Street estimates, helped by lower costs.

Microsoft Corp will likely announce a date for the release of its Windows 10 operating system at its annual developer conference in San Francisco and update analysts on its outlook for the next year. Industry watchers will be asking if Microsoft has lost touch with the developer base, which is now spending more time designing apps for Google and Apple mobile operating systems.

When Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc reports its first-quarter results, investors will be looking for fresh hints on the company's growth plans, even as it digests the $11 billion purchase of Salix Pharmaceuticals. Valeant is trying to work down Salix's bloated inventory by the end of the year, which is likely to cut into revenue.

Two of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's expert committees are slated to review Amgen Inc's melanoma vaccine to decide on whether the drug deserves an accelerated approval. T-vec is being developed as a monotherapy for treating metastatic skin cancer. The company is eyeing an approval for the vaccine outside the United States too. The FDA staff reviewer said on Monday that an accelerated review of the skin cancer immunotherapy could not be considered at this time. The FDA isn't required to follow the opinions of its advisers, but it usually does.

Health insurer Anthem Inc is expected to report a rise in first-quarter earnings, helped by increased memberships. It will be the first public presentation by Anthem's chief executive since the company said in January that it had been hacked, likely by the Chinese, and that records for 80 million people had been accessed. Health insurer Humana Inc is also expected to report higher first-quarter earnings as its private Medicare Advantage and Medicare drug plans added new members and costs steadied for its new individual customers from the Obamacare exchanges.   Continued...