December 31, 2015 / 7:59 PM / 2 years ago

What to Watch in the Week Ahead and on Monday, Jan 4

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The markets will return with a new year after a middling performance for all of 2015, refocused
on the coming jobs report, and armed with new contributions from 401K and pension plans, that
should at least help lift stocks in the early going. With the Fed having achieved lift-off, some
of the uncertainty around their next move will recede, and investors should take a more calm
approach for a bit until key data later in the week.

On Tuesday, major U.S. automakers are scheduled to report their sales figures for December, with
auto sales expected to decline to 18.10 million from 18.19 million in the previous month. The
ADP National Employment Report for December is due on Wednesday. Economists expect a gain of
190,000 jobs this month. On the same day, Commerce Department is scheduled to issue data for
November international trade. The trade gap is likely to widen to $44 billion. Wednesday will
also see the factory orders data for November. New orders for manufactured goods are estimated
to have declined 0.2 percent. Also on Wednesday, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) will
release its index of non-manufacturing activity. Separately, investors will look out for
Friday's employment data, with the nonfarm payrolls probably rising 200,000 this month.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate is expected to hold at 5 percent in December. On the same day,
the Commerce Department will release wholesale figures for November.

On Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee will issue minutes from its meeting of Dec.
15-16 where it raised the interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. On Thursday,
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker will speak on "Economic Outlook,
January 2016" before the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce's 2016 Economic Forecast event, in
Raleigh, North Carolina. Lacker will again speak on the topic before the Maryland Bankers
Association's First Friday Economic Outlook Forum, in Baltimore on Friday. Federal Reserve Bank
of Chicago President Charles Evans speaks on Thursday on current economic conditions and
monetary policy before the Wisconsin Bankers Association Economic Forecast Luncheon, in Madison.
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams will also be speaking on the
economic outlook before the California Association of Bankers, in Santa Barbara on Friday.

Monsanto Co, one of the world's largest seed and agrichemical companies, is scheduled to release
financial results for its fiscal 2016 first quarter on Wednesday. The company said in November
that it expects to lose 23 to 33 cents a share for the quarter, hurt by restructuring costs,
pricing pressures on its herbicide glyphosate, slower-than-expected U.S. corn seed sales and a
weak Brazilian currency.

On Thursday, the largest U.S. drugstore operator, Walgreens Boots Alliance is likely to report
first-quarter revenue below analysts' average estimates, according to StarMine. The company,
which is awaiting regulatory approval for its proposed $9.4 billion deal to buy its no. 3 rival
Rite Aid, received a request for additional information from the U.S. FTC in December. Investors
will be looking out for updates on the regulatory approval process.

Constellation Brands Inc will release third-quarter results on Thursday. The maker of Corona and
Modelo beers had raised its full-year profit forecast in October, citing strong sales of the
Mexican beer brands and a strong dollar, which helped cut its production costs in Mexico.
Investors will be interested in the company's plans for the craft brew business, which has seen
a number of acquisitions in the last few months as bigger players seek to gain share of the
fast-growing business.

The Consumer Electronics Show officially opens on Wednesday in Las Vegas. General Motors CEO
Mary Barra and Chief Business Officer of YouTube Robert Kyncl will be giving the keynote
addresses at the event, which is fast becoming as much a showcase of auto technology as it is of
consumer technology.

On Tuesday, Statistics Canada is scheduled to report producer prices data for November. The data
showed a decline of 0.5 percent in October. Trade balance data is expected on Wednesday to show
a deficit of C$2.60 billion in November, compared with a deficit of C$2.76 billion in October.
On Friday, building permits data from Statistics Canada is expected to have dropped 3.5 percent
in November after jumping 9.1 percent in October. Employment data for December is also scheduled
for the same day. The economy is expected to have added 10,000 jobs after shedding 35,700 jobs
in November.

Bank of Canada Governor Steven Poloz will give a speech at the Ottawa Business Journal and
Ottawa Chamber of Commerce Mayor's Breakfast Series on Thursday, two weeks before the central
bank's January interest rate announcement.

On Monday, January 4

Economists predict U.S. construction spending to have risen 0.7 percent in November. (1000/1500)
Separately, the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) index of national factory activity is
estimated to have risen to 49 in November. (1000/1500)

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams will participate in the panel,
"The Implementation of Macroprudential Policies by Central Banks", before the American Economic
Association/ASSA annual meeting in San Francisco.

The RBC Canadian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' index for December, a measure of
manufacturing business conditions, is scheduled for release. It edged up to a seasonally
adjusted 48.6 in November from 48.0 in October. (0930/1430)

GMF LIVECHAT - FX WEEK AHEAD with Reuters FX analyst Rob Howard
Join Reuters FX analyst Rob Howard at 0600/1100 for a look at the week's top topics and
implications for the FX market. To join the Global Markets Forum, click here
(U.S. and Canadian markets will remain closed on Friday, Jan. 1, for New Year's Day.)

 (Compiled By Nayyar Rasheed in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)
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