October 14, 2014 / 6:33 PM / 4 years ago

What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Wednesday, Oct. 15

(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) American Express, the world’s biggest credit card issuer is expected to post better-than-expected third-quarter results, according to StarMine, helped by lower loan-loss reserves and a rise in consumer spending. AmEx’s growth depends mostly on affluent customers who have been consistent with their spending despite the global recession.

Bank of America, the second largest U.S. bank, will likely report a third-quarter loss after it takes a $5.3 billion charge to cover part of the $16.65 billion settlement it reached with U.S. authorities. The settlement has largely lifted the cloud of legal uncertainty over the bank, resulting in the state of its underlying businesses taking center stage for the first time in years.

The Commerce Department issues U.S. retail sales numbers for September. Retail sales rose in August as Americans bought automobiles and a range of other goods. Analysts forecast a decline of 0.1 percent for September (0830/1230). Meanwhile, the department releases the numbers for business inventories for August (1000/1400). Separately, the Labor Department issues the Producer Price Index for September (0830/1230). The Federal Reserve issues its so-called Beige Book, a compendium of anecdotes on the health of the economy drawn from the central bank’s sources across the nation.

BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager, is scheduled to report third-quarter earnings before markets open. Analysts expect the New York-based asset manager, which now manages more than $4 trillion in assets, to earn $4.69 a share, up from $3.88 a share a year ago.

Wal-Mart Stores, the world’s largest retailer, will unveil its capital spending and store expansion plans for the next fiscal year at an annual conference for the investment community near its headquarters in Arkansas. The conference will include presentations by group Chief Executive Douglas McMillon and Greg Foran, CEO of its U.S. business. EBay releases third-quarter earnings after the bell. The company will report its first quarterly scorecard since announcing plans to spin off its PayPal payments unit next year. The e-commerce company, which is expected to report earnings of 67 cents per share, will split into two publicly traded companies, one focused on payments and the other on selling and auctioning goods. Executives will likely face questions on how the move will help PayPal and the marketplaces division fend off rivals like Amazon and a host of payments startups. Media giant Time Warner is slated to hold its first investor day in five years as shareholders ask “where’s the money?” after Fox’s abortive takeover bid gave them a tantalizing glimpse of a much higher stock price. CEO Jeff Bewkes will be under pressure to show how the company can better monetize assets like HBO and CNN to drive organic growth and a higher stock price.

Charles Schwab reports third-quarter earnings before the bell. Often viewed as a proxy for small investor confidence in the U.S. economy, Schwab is expected to report flat trading activity, with earnings slightly bolstered by improvements in net interest margin. But Schwab investors remain nervous that the Fed will further delay raising interest rates, since the firm’s fortunes are tied to the returns it reaps from the billions of dollars in clients’ accounts.

Netflix will reveal its latest subscriber numbers when the video-streaming service reports third-quarter results after U.S. markets close. The company is expected to provide an update on its recent launch into major European countries and its new push into original movies. Wall Street analysts project Netflix will report earnings of 90 cents per share for the September quarter, up from 52 cents a year earlier. Heart device maker St. Jude Medical is expected to post third-quarter earnings before the bell. Analysts expect the company to earn 96 cents per share in the quarter. Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, will appear at the Inter-American Development Bank to announce “a major partnership on a ground-breaking nutrition project in four countries: Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru.” Sapphire glass supplier GT Advanced Technologies Inc will appear again before a bankruptcy court to lay out its case for reorganization. The precise events that triggered GT’s surprise financial implosion remain unclear, but all signs point to a distinctly unfavorable manufacturing pact forged with iPhone maker Apple Inc.

The IPO of Great Western Bancorp, the U.S. subsidiary of National Australia Bank, is expected to raise about $384 million, valuing the lender at up to $1.4 billion. NAB, Australia’s No. 4 lender by market value, acquired regional lender Great Western in 2008 for just below $1 billion to get more involved in funding agribusiness in the United States. Great Western has about 200 locations in several states, including Arizona and Colorado, and has assets in excess of $8 billion. Great Western will be the latest to join a string of financial institutions listing this year, including Ally Financial, investor Wilbur Ross-backed Talmer Bancorp and Royal Bank of Scotland Group’s U.S. unit, Citizens Financial.

Canada’s Teranet-National Bank releases data on the composite house price index for September. The index, a measure of price changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, rose 0.8 percent in August. Separately, the Canadian Real Estate Association announces September figures for home sales.

Brazil’s government statistics agency IBGE will issue August retail sales numbers. A report on Brazil’s retail sales will likely show they rose in August for the first time in seven months, but not strongly enough to pull the economy out of a recession, according to economists surveyed by Reuters. On an annual basis, sales volumes likely fell 1.1 percent from August 2013, compared with a 0.9 percent drop in July. The state statistics agency of Peru releases economic growth data for August. The government and central bank have said the economy started to rebound from its worst slowdown in five years in July, when the economy picked up somewhat to grow 1.16 percent year-on-year. However, preliminary data shows that the key mining sector posted a deeper contraction in August than in July. Separately, Argentina is due to release September consumer inflation data. (All analysts’ estimates are according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S) (Compiled by Sourav Bose in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)

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