What to Watch in The Day Ahead; Wednesday, June 18

Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:50pm 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 Federal Reserve is widely expected to push forward with a further reduction in its monthly bond-buying, putting the main focus of investors on the fresh quarterly economic and interest rate projections the central bank will release. They could show officials see faster progress toward the Fed's goals of full employment and 2 percent inflation than they saw in March, the last time official forecasts were published. But perhaps of most interest will be the matrix of dots that represent individual policymakers views on when they will hike rates and how high they will go. (1400/1800) Fed Chair Janet Yellen will hold a quarterly press conference, and any comments about slack in the economy or the likely path of rate hikes will be closely parsed by investors. (1430/1830) General Motors CEO Mary Barra heads back to Capitol Hill to face lawmakers irritated by her lack of answers during her previous appearance about the deadly ignition switch flaw in millions of cars. Barra will appear alongside Anton Valukas, the GM-hired investigator who delivered a report earlier this month that cleared top executives in the scandal and instead pinned blame on lower engineers and lawyers. Barra is expected to face tough questions about whether the automaker is truly being transparent and holding people accountable for the flaw, which is linked to at least 13 deaths. Parcel delivery company FedEx is likely to have benefited from a rise in shipments, which are being boosted by a surge in online retail sales. FedEx's investment in its Ex-press service is also expected to add to earnings this year. Investors will be looking for any hit from higher fuel costs and one less operating day in the quarter. FedEx's comments on how it expects the rest of the year to play out will also be keenly watched. Amazon.com's founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, is expected to reveal a new product in Seattle. The company has not confirmed what will be revealed, but analysts widely expect it to be a phone. The company has been working on the device for many years and it includes 3D features visible to the eye without special glasses, according to two people familiar with the phone. Analysts expect Amazon will set itself apart from competitors by offering a cheaper model with a creative data plan. Prime is likely to be incorporated in some way in keeping with Amazon's push to boost the value of the membership program. Linux operating system vendor Red Hat's quarterly results will likely be in line with analysts' estimates, according to StarMine. Analysts expect the company to report a fall in first-quarter billings due to the impact of strong billings growth in the fourth quarter. Contract electronics maker Jabil Circuit's third-quarter results are expected to be slightly above estimates, according to StarMine, helped by higher sales of mobile phones and video game consoles in the quarter. The company, which had issued a conservative outlook in December due to the winding down of its business with BlackBerry, expects to return its core operating income within its diversified manufacturing services business to "more normalized levels" in fiscal year 2015. Thermal coal producer Foresight Energy Partners is expected to raise up to $367.5 million from its initial public offering of 17.5 million common units, representing limited partner interests. Foresight is expected to be valued at about $1.36 billion at the high end of its estimated price range of $19-$21 per unit. Statistics Canada is scheduled to report wholesale trade data for April. Analysts surveyed by Reuters expect a 0.6 percent increase, after a 0.4 percent decline in March. (0830/1230) Brazil's 12-month inflation rate is expected to stay near the 6.5 percent central bank target ceiling. Stubbornly elevated inflation is a headache for President Dilma Rousseff, who will seek re-election in October. It has also undermined business and consumer confidence, curbing investments and family consumption over the past few months. (0800/1200) The Bank of England publishes the minutes from its June meeting, which will be closely watched for signs of further division among policymakers on the outlook for interest rates. (0430/0830) (Compiled By Ayesha Sruti Ahmed in Bangalore)

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