What to Watch in the Day Ahead; Thursday, May 29

Wed May 28, 2014 2:26pm EDT

(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 U.S. Department of Commerce is scheduled to release its second preliminary gross domestic product figures for the first quarter and will likely revise prior estimates to reflect a 0.5 percent decline. A prior report showed Q1 GDP growth nearly flat at 0.1 percent, its slowest pace since Q4 2012. (0830/1230) The Commerce Department is also expected to report that pending home sales went up 1.0 percent in April. (1000/1400) Meanwhile, the Labor Department is likely to report that initial filings for jobless claims declined to 318,000 from 326,000. (0830/1230) Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Sandra Pianalto is scheduled to speak before the Inflation, Monetary Policy, and the Public conference. (0830/1230) Separately, Kansas City Federal Reserve President Esther George, who has consistently pushed for the central bank to stop easing and start thinking about tightening policy, gives a dinner address at a monetary policy conference at Stanford University. A steadily increasing membership base has spurred Costco's comparable store sales growth since last year as U.S. buyers look for cost-saving options amid a weak economy. Monthly same-store sales have been strong in the year so far, signaling the company has not been affected by the harsh winter weather that many other retailers have flagged for weak results. When Costco reports third-quarter results, investors will be focusing on new membership signups, membership renewal rates and the rise in number of executive members. They will also be watching out for the effect of currency fluctuations on the company's international operations, which are expected to rub some shine off quarterly sales. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is expected to report declining second-quarter profit due largely to a pre-announced C$420 million writedown in its First Caribbean International Bank unit and additional loan losses. The bank's results will also reflect the impact of the sale of half of its Aeroplan credit card portfolio to TD Bank. Analysts expect a profit of C$2.07 per share, excluding items. Chipmaker Avago Technologies is likely to report second-quarter results below analysts' average estimates, according to StarMine data. The company had warned of lower revenue last quarter, saying it lost revenue from a smartphone customer. Analysts had speculated that the customer could be Apple Inc. Tata Motors, India's biggest automaker by revenue, is expected to report an 18 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit, according to analyst estimates, helped by strong sales of its Jaguar and Land Rover cars in China and the Asia-Pacific region. High car ownership costs in a sluggish economy and the absence of new product launches have hit Tata's sales in its home market, increasing the automaker's dependence on its UK unit, Jaguar Land Rover Ltd, to prop up profits. The company expects to launch two new models this fiscal year for its domestic market and is also expected to start its new manufacturing facility in China. Teen apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch is expected to post another decline in sales when it reports first-quarter results before the bell as the harsh winter weather in parts of the United States hurt traffic to stores in February and March. The company said earlier this year that it would lower prices to battle competition and it has been expanding its merchandise to include shoes and larger clothes sizes for women to attract more shoppers. Investors will be looking out for any commentary on when sales are expected to pick up and for new initiatives to boost sales. Data analytics software maker Splunk had forecast first-quarter adjusted margins would shrink 8-10 percent as it invests in product development and hires more sales people. However, when the company reports results after the bell, analysts expect revenue to beat expectations due to strong growth in licensing revenue as corporate and government clients spend more on indexing and analyzing data. Sanderson Farms is expected to report second-quarter results before the bell. Investors will be looking for updates on supplies, export demand and the impact of higher retail chicken prices. Chinese solar company ReneSola is expected to report a much smaller first-quarter loss, helped by improving demand and prices for its panels from China. Investors will also want to know if the China improvement is sustainable and they will look for the company's U.S. shipment forecast after it was named a respondent in the U.S. Department of Commerce's anti-dumping investigation. Nimble Storage's first-quarter profit is likely to beat Wall Street estimates, according to StarMine data, as demand for its storage products rise. The company is gaining market share at the expense of traditional storage equipment providers such as NetApp. Canada's current account deficit is expected to narrow in the first quarter after widening to its fourth-largest level ever in the final months of 2013. (Compiled by Ayesha Sruti Ahmed in Bangalore)

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