What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Thursday, 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) Like its peers, Citigroup Inc, the third biggest U.S. bank by assets, is expected to be hurt during third-quarter by market volatility and low interest rate environment. Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach has already said trading revenue will decline from a year earlier due to increased volatility. Investors will be keen to know more about the impact of increased volatility on the bank's outlook for the fourth quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc is expected to report a decline in third-quarter profit as volatile Chinese markets and the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to hold off from raising interest rates hit bond trading and capital markets revenue. Weak trading that has continued into the fourth quarter is likely to drag income lower still, some analysts say. It is expected, however, that Goldman Sachs's IPO fees will outpace those of its peers such as Citi and JPMorgan. UnitedHealth Group Inc, the largest U.S. health insurer, reports third-quarter earnings that are expected to rise a bit from last year. The company, which sells employer-based insurance as well as Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare health plans, is the only large insurer not involved in one of the major consolidation deals under review by antitrust regulators. The company's earnings are expected to be lead by its Optum drug benefit and technology business. As the first of its peers to report, its commentary on medical cost trends often impacts the shares of its peers. Schlumberger Ltd, the world's No.1 oilfield services provider, is expected to report a steep fall in third-quarter profit as lower oil prices weigh on global drilling activity. Investors will be looking out for any updates on the company's move to buy equipment maker Cameron International. Schlumberger's North American onshore drilling results are expected to be weaker, but deep cost cuts are expected to cushion the impact and help sustain margins. Declining drilling activity is expected to dampen onshore pricing and investors will be looking for comments on pricing and expectations for industry spending for the year end and next year. As U.S. drilling costs are seen as approaching levels where they cannot be reduced any further, a key focus will be on how oil production will be affected from major shale plays. U.S. consumer prices likely fell in September as gasoline prices declined and a strong dollar muted underlying inflation, which could further cast doubts on an interest rate hike this year. The consumer price index is expected to have dropped 0.2 percent last month after slipping 0.1 percent in August. Excluding food and energy, the so-called core CPI is forecast to have edged up 0.1 percent for a third straight month. (0830/1230) Separately, the number of Americans filing new applications for jobless benefits is likely to have increased 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 270,000. (0830/1230) Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia issues Business Outlook Survey for October. (1000/1400) Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley participates in conversation on how the Fed should decide on the appropriate level of interest rates at an event hosted by the Brookings Institution. (1030/1430) Separately, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard gives opening remarks before the 40th Annual Fall Policy Conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. (1030/1430) Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester speaks on "Determinants of Long-Run Growth and Future Growth Prospects" before the New York University Stern School of Business Center for Global Economy and Business. (1630/2030) Blackstone Group LP, the world's largest alternative asset manager, is due to report third-quarter earnings, with analysts expecting it to report an economic net loss as stock market jitters hurt the value of its holdings. Charles Schwab Corp, considered a proxy for retail investors' involvement in the market, is expected to have had a choppy third quarter, marked by heavy customer trading in August followed by an abrupt withdrawal in September. Analysts expect so-so commission revenue and a decline in asset-based account fees that echo the S&P 500's 4 percent dip in the quarter. They forecast Charles Schwab earned 27 cents per share, up from 23 cents a year ago. But the Fed's reluctance to raise interest rates means investors expecting a rate-induced earnings bonanza are still in wait mode. Toymaker Mattel Inc is expected to report third-quarter profit below analysts' average estimate, as it struggles against a strong dollar. Mattel is in the middle of a turnaround as its Barbie dolls have fallen out of favor with young girls. The company is likely to have hiked spending on marketing and other promotions ahead of the holiday season, which could have weighed on profit in the quarter. Investors will be looking for Mattel's plans to sign new deals with popular movie franchises to compensate its contract for Disney Princess toys, including dolls based on the blockbuster Frozen franchise, ending in 2016. Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices Inc is expected to report third-quarter profit and revenue below analysts' average estimate. The company, which announced 500 job cuts earlier this month, has been struggling with intense competition and weak demand for its chips used in personal computers. The company has been shifting focus to make chips for gaming consoles and low-power servers, but progress has lagged Wall Street's expectations due to tough competition from Intel Corp and newer companies. Investors will be looking to see what impact the company's restructuring had on results. Winnebago Industries Inc, the largest U.S. motorhome maker, is expected to report lower fourth-quarter profit as average selling prices likely fell. The company has been selling more lower-priced recreational vehicles as it faces lower demand for its top-end motorhomes. The company's capital expenditure has also increased as it tries to cope with a shortage of workers at a key plant in rural Iowa and rectify problems related to sourcing key components from suppliers. Investors will be looking to see if the company is able to contain its expenses, and comments on 2016 financial forecast. The industry group for Canadian real estate agents will release existing home sales data for September. Sales of existing homes rose 0.3 percent in August from July, as strength in the two big markets of Vancouver and Toronto offset weakness elsewhere. Peru's economy likely grew 3.0 percent in August from the same month a year ago, as rising copper production continued to offset weak construction activity. Meanwhile, Chile's central bank meets to set interest rates. The market is divided as to whether it will hold the rate at 3.0 percent or begin hiking the rate, with the bank caught between a still weak economy and stubborn inflation. Puerto Rico's debt-ridden PREPA must get a deal with its bond insurers or extend a creditor agreement again to protect it from lawsuits. PREPA has reached deals with its bondholders and banks but the insurers are holding out. LIVECHAT - BREAKINGVIEWS EXPRESS - Join Breakingviews editors to talk about the top stories of the day Join our Breakingviews editors to talk about the top stories of the day. To join the Global Markets Forum, click here bit.ly/1kTxdKD (All references to a company's results expected to beat or miss analysts average estimate are according to Thomson Reuters StarMine, unless mentioned otherwise) (Compiled by Sourav Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)
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