What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Wednesday, Feb 24

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HP Inc, which houses former Hewlett-Packard Co's legacy printer and PC business, is set to
report first-quarter profit and revenue below the average analyst estimates, according to
Thomson Reuters StarMine data. Investors will be looking at how the company maintains its bottom
line, given the diminishing prospects for the PC market in 2016. 
Big-box retailer Target Corp is expected to report fourth-quarter revenue below analysts'
estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. Target, which is finding it difficult to
stave off intense competition, said in November that it cannot meet its full-year online sales
growth, due to weak demand for electronics. Also, a warmer-than-usual winter is likely to have
hit demand for winter wear. Investors will be interested in Target's forecast for the new year,
and any strategic developments to address its problems.

Lowe's Cos Inc, the No. 2 U.S. home improvement retailer, is likely to report fourth-quarter
sales slightly above analysts' average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. Sales of
building material and garden equipment are expected to benefit due to the strong housing market.
Investors will also be looking for details on how Lowe's plans to integrate its $2.28 billion
acquisition of Canada-based Rona Inc, which it announced earlier this month.

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker will speak on "Can Monetary Policy
Affect Economic Growth?" before the "Leaders + Legends" lecture series sponsored by the Johns
Hopkins Carey Business School in Baltimore. The Federal Reserve is mulling whether the U.S.
economy will take a hit from the turmoil in financial markets and Lacker could give a sense over
whether the central bank still expects to raise interest rates this year as policymakers
indicated in December. (0800/1300) Also, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan
is scheduled to speak on "Current Economic Conditions and Monetary Policy" before the Harvard
Clubs of Dallas and Fort Worth. (1315/1815) Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
President James Bullard will give a presentation on the U.S economy and monetary policy before
the Money Marketeers of New York University. (1900/0000)

Data from the Commerce Department is expected to show new home sales fell 4.4 percent in January
to a 520,000 unit-rate, likely reflecting bad weather. (1000/1500)

Off-price retailer TJX Cos Inc is expected to report a fourth-quarter profit above analysts'
average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. TJX - which sells clothing, merchandise
and accessories at low prices - has fared better than traditional apparel retailers in the past
year. Analysts have said that the off-price retailer was a preferred destination for much of the
middle and upper-middle class bargain-hungry shoppers this holiday season. Investors will look
for sales forecast for the first quarter and the retailer's plans to expand in international
markets. Inc is expected to report fourth-quarter revenue above the average analyst
estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. The cloud-based software maker has been
gaining market share from Oracle and SAP in customer relationship management software. However,
investors' confidence in tech stocks has been shaken after weak forecasts by Tableau Software
and LinkedIn led to a broad selloff earlier this month. Investors will be looking for the
company's first-quarter forecast.

Offshore rig contractor Transocean Ltd is expected to post a smaller quarterly profit when it
reports its fourth-quarter results, hurt by weak demand for rigs due to a prolonged slump in oil
prices. Investor focus will be on any additional cost cutting plans and details on costs
incurred due to idling and scrapping rigs.

HollyFrontier Corp is expected to post a higher profit in its fourth quarter, helped by higher
gasoline demand and improved refining margins due to lower crude costs. The focus will be on new
Chief Executive George Damiris's plans for the company, which has dismissed speculation that it
may be a possible acquisition target by rival Tesoro.

Continental Resources Inc, run by billionaire wildcatter Harold Hamm and North Dakota's
second-largest oil producer, is expected to report a fourth-quarter loss due to a plunge in
crude prices.

Oil and natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy Corp is expected to report a loss in the fourth
quarter, compared with a year-ago profit, hurt by a prolonged slump in the prices of both the
commodities. The company, whose debt is eight times its market value, has tapped a legal adviser
to look at restructuring options. The focus this quarter will be on how the company planned to
slash debt and whether it will make $500 million in debt payments due in March. Investors will
also be keen on knowing whether Chesapeake planned to renegotiate billions of dollars worth of
contracts with pipeline companies.

Whiting Petroleum Corp, North Dakota's largest oil producer, is expected to report a quarterly
loss in its fourth quarter due to a plunge in crude prices.

Royal Bank of Canada, Canada's most valuable company, is expected to report a higher quarterly
profit in its first quarter, with strength seen in its domestic retail business and U.S. capital
markets division. Investors will be closely looking for signs that its exposure to the oil and
gas industry is weighing on its bottom line.

Bank of Canada Deputy Governor Lawrence Schembri gives a speech at the Guelph Chamber of
Commerce. The topic of his speech will be "Connecting the Dots: Elevated Household Debt and the
Risk to Financial Stability". Schembri will be watched for clues on whether the central bank,
which cut rates twice last year as sinking oil pushed the country into a mild recession, will
ease further now that oil prices have renewed their fall. (1235/1735)

FEMSA, now the largest company on Mexico's blue chip stock index, reports its fourth-quarter
results. The company, which owns the sprawling Oxxo chain of stores and co-owns Coca Cola
bottler Coke-Femsa, has been opening hundreds of new stores a quarter. Investors will be looking
for updates on growth and details on its new retail gasoline business.

Mexican consumer prices are expected to have risen 0.2 percent during the first half of
February. The closely watched core price index, which strips out some volatile food and energy
prices, is likely to have climbed 0.23 percent in early February. (0900/1400)

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 (Compiled By Nayyar Rasheed in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)