September 2, 2015 / 6:34 PM / 3 years ago

What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Thursday, Sept 3

(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) Medical device maker Medtronic Plc is expected to post its first-quarter results in line with estimates, driven by sales of its cardiac, vascular and minimally invasive products. A plethora of product launches should allow Medtronic to deliver on its objective of mid-single digit growth, although investors will be looking to see how its diabetes division has done given the competitive landscape. Investors will also be curious to see how Medtronic’s extra week of sales in the quarter and continuing currency headwinds have impacted earnings.

The U.S. Commerce Department issues July data for International Trade. The trade deficit likely narrowed in July as exports rose for the first time in three months, which could further boost the outlook for the third quarter economic growth. The trade gap probably fell to $42.4 billion from $43.8 billion in June. Separately, the Labor Department releases weekly data for jobless claims, expected to have increased 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 275,000 in the week. (0830/1230) Also, financial firm Markit releases its final reading of Purchasing Managers Index for August. (0945/1345) In another report, the Institute for Supply Management projects its services sector index to have decreased to 58.1 in August from 60.3 in July. (1000/1400)

Campbell Soup Co is scheduled to report its fiscal fourth-quarter results. The maker of brands such as Pepperidge Farm cookies and Goldfish crackers is struggling to grow as consumer tastes shift toward less processed foods. In July, Campbell reduced its long-term organic sales growth forecast to 1-3 percent from 3-4 percent to reflect the slow-growth environment in the packaged food industry. The company is also cutting costs through job cuts and implementing zero-based budgeting, which requires managers to justify every cost in each new period, to increase its margins.

The Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) announces its interest rate decision. The ECB is expected to cut its inflation forecast, primarily on weak commodity prices and slowing emerging market growth, another sign that quantitative easing (QE) is not yet working as planned. The bank’s chief economist already flagged that QE may have to be expanded or accelerated so the bank could start laying the groundwork for more asset buys. Growth, however, looks to be picking up and lending growth is at its best in two years, offering at least some hope that the euro zone is slowly getting back on its feet. (0745/1145)

Toys for movie studio Walt Disney’s upcoming “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” go on sale in stores around the world. The toy roll-out is part of a huge merchandising effort by Disney ahead of the December release of the movie, the first in a new “Star Wars” trilogy. The toys will be introduced over an 18-hour period in 15 cities and 12 countries. Also, Wal-Mart Stores Inc said it would bring forward its holiday layaway program, as the world’s largest retailer hopes to get a jump on year-end demand and fuel sales of Star Wars toys.

Mining equipment maker Joy Global Inc is expected to report lower third-quarter revenue and profit as coal miners cut production. The company gets more than 60 percent of its revenue from coal miners. Investors will look for an update on full-year financial forecast.

Canada’s trade balance is forecast to have widened to a deficit of C$1.3 billion in July. With policymakers looking for a stronger export sector to help drive the economy, focus will be on whether the sharp gain exports saw in June will be sustained. Analysts will also be watching for revisions to June’s numbers, which had been surprisingly upbeat. (0830/1230)

Financial firm Markit releases August Purchasing Managers Index for Brazilian Services. The index fell on a seasonally adjusted basis to 39.1 in July, matching a record low from March 2009 in the eight-year data series. Separately, Mexico’s national statistics agency releases June data for gross fixed investment, which is expected to have advanced 6.70 percent, compared with 2.30 percent a year earlier. (0900/1300)

LIVECHAT: TRADING CANADA - Bank of Canada policy outlook Roland Chalupka, chief investment officer at Fiduciary Trust Canada, joins the Global Markets Forum (1030 ET/1430 GMT) for a conversation about central bank policy and the impact of Chinese stock volatility on global markets. To join the conversation, click here: (Compiled by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Edited by Maju Samuel)

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