What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Thursday, Feb 25
(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 Commerce Department is expected to report that orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rebounded 2.5 percent in January after tumbling 5 percent in December. Core capital goods orders, a proxy for business investment, are forecast rising 1 percent after plummeting 4.3 percent in December. (0830/1330) Meanwhile, the number of Americans filing for state unemployment benefits are expected to have increased 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 270,000 for the week ended Feb. 20. (0830/1330) Department store operator Kohl's Corp will report fourth-quarter results. Kohl's, like rival Macy's, has said sales and profit in the holiday quarter were hurt by unseasonably warm weather and deep discounting. The company is reportedly exploring options to go private and eliminated three senior positions, including chief digital officer, in February. Sears Holdings Corp is expected to announce a net loss of between $525 million and $625 million for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, according to an estimate disclosed by the company on Feb. 9. The owner of the Sears department store and Kmart discount store chains estimated that sales at existing stores fell 7.1 percent during the quarter, hurt by weak demand for apparel. Kraft Heinz Co, the maker of Jell-O and Oscar Mayer meats, is expected to report fourth-quarter sales below analysts' estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. The company has been battling sluggish sales of its beverages and boxed dinners in the United States, as consumers increasingly prefer organic and fresh foods. It has also slashed jobs and has launched a plan aimed at saving $1.5 billion in annual costs by the end of 2017. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart gives welcome remarks before the 2016 Banking Outlook Conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. (0815/1315) Also, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams will speak on the economic outlook before an event hosted by the New York University Stern School of Business. Williams has come out as a somewhat surprising voice of confidence in the face of weeks of market volatility that has prompted some of his colleagues to downgrade economic forecasts and back down from expectations of imminent rate hikes. Williams, a centrist and an ally of Fed Chair Janet Yellen, will likely stick to his view that the U.S. economy will stand firm in the face of overseas weakness and will likely be able to absorb tighter policy. (1200/1700) Dollar Tree Inc, the biggest dollar store chain, is expected to report fourth-quarter revenue above estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. Higher rents, taxes and healthcare costs have made the company's "$1 or less" concept highly attractive to thrifty shoppers. Dollar Tree's results serve as a barometer for the broader spending behavior of low-income customers. While sales more than doubled in the previous quarter, expenses tied to rebranding Family Dollar stores, which it bought last year, ate into profit. Best Buy Co Inc, the biggest U.S. consumer electronics retail chain, is expected to report fourth-quarter sales below analysts' estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. In January, Best Buy reported a drop in sales in the nine-week holiday season ended Jan. 2, due to weak demand for mobile phones, and estimated fourth-quarter sales to also fall. Gap Inc is expected to report profit largely in line with analysts' estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. The apparel retailer has warned of weak January sales and has said it expects fourth-quarter profit to fall from a year earlier. Gap and other retailers have been hurt by a long spell of warm weather, which has weighed on demand for winter wear such as coats and jackets. The company is also trying to offer trendier products across its brands to woo shoppers back from popular fast-fashion retailers. Investors will look for comments on recovery at the Gap and Banana Republic brands in the heavily promotional first quarter. EOG Resources Inc, considered one of the best-run North American shale oil producers, is expected to report a loss in its fourth-quarter report after a plunge in crude prices. Palo Alto Networks Inc is expected to report second-quarter revenue and profit above average analysts' estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. The cyber security company has been grabbing market share from traditional firewall suppliers. Investors will be watching out for the company's forecast, especially after rival FireEye Inc said it expected growth in cyber security spending to slow this year. Data analytics vendor Splunk Inc is set to report profit and revenue for the fourth quarter below the average analyst estimate, according to StarMine data. Investors will be looking tentatively to any forecast for the year, given Tableau Software's bearish results and outlook earlier in the month. As big data analytics market grows and more players such as IBM, Microsoft and Amazon enter, investors will be interested in how Splunk plans to carve out a niche for itself. Weight Watchers International Inc is expected to report fourth-quarter profit above analysts' average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. The weight management company, which has reported 11 straight quarters of declining revenue, added media mogul Oprah Winfrey to its board in October after she bought a 10 percent stake. Her involvement and subsequent weight loss have resulted in positive January trends and an uptick in sign-ups. Investors will look for comments on Oprah's popular ad campaigns and net additions so far in the first quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank, Canada's biggest lender by assets, and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce will report first-quarter results, which will come at a time investors are increasingly concerned about the impact lower oil prices might be having. TD has the smallest exposure to the energy industry of the major Canadian banks, but CIBC's retail banking presence in Alberta puts it at some risk, analysts say. Goldcorp Inc is expected to break even in the fourth quarter, compared with a profit a year earlier, hurt by lower gold prices. Investors are likely to focus on additional cost-cutting measures at the company. State-run Banco do Brasil, Latin America's biggest bank by assets, is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings before markets open. Vale SA, the world's largest producer of iron ore, releases fourth-quarter results as the slump in the steelmaking raw material continues. Vale is expected to report a near 50 percent fall in EBITDA and has already cut its dividend for the year to zero. Mexico's current account deficit is likely to have reached $7.9 billion in the fourth quarter, narrowing from $8.856 billion in the previous quarter. LIVECHAT - U.S. Retail Watch with analyst Jharonne Martis As U.S. department stores wind up a quarterly results season that included a dreary Christmas, StarMine retail analyst Jharonne Martis sums up the numbers and takes a data-driven look at the financial foundations, values and investment risks of a sector rapidly being reshaped by technology and shifting consumer preferences. (1000/1500) To join the Global Markets Forum, click here bit.ly/1kTxdKD LIVEHCAT - SHOWBUZZ with Jean Tait and Mark Porter Join Reuters entertainment specialists Jean Tait and Mark Porter for a weekly discussion about music, movies, the theater and all of the showbiz buzz every Thursday at 1100/1600. If you haven't signed up yet for Global Markets Forum, click here bit.ly/1kTxdKD (Compiled By Nayyar Rasheed in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)
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