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The U.S. Senate is expected to hold a preliminary vote on the
nomination of Stanley Fischer to be vice chairman at the Federal
Reserve. The nomination is expected to handily win the 51 votes
that would be needed to move to a final debate on the
nomination; a final vote is expected on Wednesday.
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser
is expected to speak on the economic outlook before the Women in
Housing and Finance Public Policy Luncheon in Washington.
Separately, New York Federal Reserve Bank William Dudley speaks
on the economy and monetary policy before the New York
Association for Business Economics in New York.
With U.S. retailers from Wal-Mart to Macy's blaming protracted
cold weather for weak sales, all eyes will be on Home Depot's
sales when it reports first-quarter results before the bell. The
home improvement chain had forecast a strong spring selling
season as consumers were likely to spend on repairs following
the winter storms, but it seems likely that bad weather in
February and March continued to keep shoppers away from its
stores. Investors and analysts will also be looking out for
management's comments and outlook on the state of the U.S.
housing market, particularly as recovery appears to be
Investors are due to get their first look at Medtronic's
earnings outlook for the year ahead when the medical device
maker reports fourth-quarter results. Analysts expect low- to
mid-single-digit revenue growth, with stronger diabetes and
neuromodulation device sales offsetting soft markets for
implantable heart devices.
Office supplies retailer Staples is expected to report a decline
in first-quarter sales as it continues to lose customers to mass
market chains, drugstores and online retailers. To combat
falling sales in North America, Staples has been shifting its
focus to new categories such as breakroom supplies and copy and
print services from traditional office supplies such as paper
and toner. The company also announced that it would close 225
stores in North America. Investors will be looking out for any
new initiatives to stem the sales declines and for any
additional plans for store closures.
Microsoft, which is desperately trying to play catch-up with
Apple's iPad, looks set to unveil the third generation of its
Surface tablet at a press gathering in New York. The company has
hinted previously that it is focusing on smaller screens, which
could herald a mini Surface to take on the hot selling,
diminutive devices from Apple, Samsung, Google and Amazon.
TJX Cos, the owner of the T.J. Maxx and Marshalls chains, is
scheduled to report first-quarter results before the bell.
Investors will look for signs if the company is continuing to
gain customers at the cost of larger peers. The bargain store
operator has said it expects comparable-store sales growth of
1-2 percent and earnings of 65-66 cents per share, below the
average analyst estimate of 67 cents.
Intuit has said it expects a strong third-quarter performance
due to demand for its online tax-preparation software,
Turbo-Tax, in the U.S. tax-filing season. The company, which is
scheduled to release its results after the bell, is expected to
benefit from the growing do-it-yourself software category.
Intuit raised its forecast for full-year consumer tax revenue
growth to 6 percent from 4-5 percent.
Canadian wholesale activity is expected to have seen cooler
growth in March. Statistics Canada is expected to report that
wholesale trade increased by 0.4 percent in March compared with
1.1 percent in April.
(Compiled By Ayesha Sruti Ahmed in Bangalore)