What to Watch in The Day Ahead; Thursday, Aug. 21

Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:33pm 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) Fed officials will gather in Jackson Hole for its annual gathering of central bankers and economists. Known officially as the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium, and sponsored by the Kansas City Fed, the event features live speeches and panels. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George is expected to give brief welcome remarks before opening dinner for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City "Re-Evaluating Labor Market Dynamics" Economic Symposium. The National Association of Realtors is expected to report that existing home sales fell 0.3 percent to a 5.02 million-unit pace in July. (1000/1400) The U.S. Labor Department is likely to issue its weekly update on new applications for unemployment insurance, and is expected to show that fewer people made new claims. (0830/1230) Separately, Markit's gauge of the U.S. manufacturing sector during August is expected to be released. (0945/1345) The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank is scheduled to release its business activity survey for August. (1000/1400) Meanwhile, the Conference Board is expected to issue its leading indicators for July. (1000/1400) Dollar Tree, scheduled to report second-quarter earnings, announced last month that it would buy rival discount chain Family Dollar Stores for $8.5 billion. Investors will want to know about progress on the deal as well as measures to ease margin pressure as it looks to slash prices to woo its lower-income clientele. Salesforce.com, a provider of enterprise cloud computing and social enterprise solutions, is expected to report profit and revenue above Wall Street estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine, due to higher demand for its online sales and marketing software. Analysts say the company is also likely to forecast full-year revenue above expectations, helped by new contract wins. Intuit is expected to report a loss for the fourth quarter, hurt by lower demand for its tax-preparation software, TurboTax. The company's fourth and first quarters are seasonally weak as it is the tax filing off-season. Intuit sold its financial services unit last year to focus on expanding its tax-preparation services. The company acquired professional tax filing software provider KDK Softwares in July to expand its accounting and tax services in India. Sears Holdings is expected to report second-quarter results. Analysts expect the struggling retailer to post another quarterly loss, despite its attempts to boost cash by selling assets. The company has been posting declining sales since 2005 and closed about 300 stores since 2010. The company is also looking at selling its 51 percent stake in Sears Canada. Investors will be watching out for details of any new plans to raise cash, as well as for Sears' outlook for the year. According to Thomson Reuters StarMine, the company is expected to post a bigger-than-expected loss, but sales are expected to beat estimates on the back of higher discounting and clearance sales. Separately, global specialty apparel company Gap is likely to post second-quarter results. Marvell Technology Group, which makes chips used in mobile communication, is likely to report quarterly results slightly above analysts' average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. The company is likely to benefit from higher demand for chips used in 4G devices in China. Analysts, however, expect the decline in the 3G market and growing competition for 4G to slightly hurt the results. Separately, supplier of networking equipment Brocade Communications Systems is scheduled to report its third-quarter results. Mexican GDP data is expected to show that Latin America's No. 2 economy grew 0.83 percent in the second quarter, a Reuters poll showed, up from a 0.3 percent rate in the first quarter. Factory output has picked up, but domestic demand has remained sluggish. Weak data could push the government to revise down its growth outlook of 2.7 percent for 2014. June economic activity will show if domestic demand is picking up at the end of the quarter. (0900/1300) Brazil's Labor Ministry may release official data on net payroll job growth in July. The pace of job creation has slowed in Brazil after three years of meager growth, but unemployment remains around record lows as more Brazilians opt to dedicate time to education and training. (0800/1200) (Compiled by Nandi Kaul in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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