Earnings Season Kicks Off
The EPS report of Alcoa (NYSE: AA) informally introduces the fourth quarter earnings season this week. However, there are about as many total earnings reports as there are economic events and reports on this lastest weekly economic schedule.
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Weekly Economic Schedule
Corporate earnings season officially begins with the after-market reporting of Alcoa's (NYSE: AA) earnings report. The only scheduled economic event for the day Monday is Atlanta Federal Reserve President Lockhart's luncheon address on the economy to the Rotary Club of Atlanta.
Look for announcements and model introductions from the likes of GM (NYSE: GM), Ford (NYSE: F), Toyota (NYSE: TM), Honda (NYSE: HMC), and perhaps Tata Motors (NYSE: TTM), Lithia Motors (NYSE: LAD) and the rest all this week, as the North American International Auto Show opens in Detroit. It's a big deal!
China is expected to report trade numbers Monday. Markets will be closed in Japan, Russia and Venezuela Monday. French President, Nicolas Sarkozy will visit with President Obama.
Merger Monday brought deal announcements by Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), buying Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), and DuPont (NYSE: DD) acquiring Danisco (OTC: DNSCY.PK). The FDA will review menthol-cigarette data, with an expected negative report the result. Nova Measuring Instruments (Nasdaq: NVMI) and Ceradyne (Nasdaq: CRDN) meet with analysts.
The JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM) Healthcare Conference highlights presentations by Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) and Abbott (NYSE: ABT). The Biotech Showcase Conference kicks off in San Francisco and highlights presentations by Cytori Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CYTX), SuperGen (Nasdaq: SUPG), Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: PPHM), CryoPort (Nasdaq: CYRX), RXi Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: RXII), Marina Biotech (Nasdaq: MRNA), Zalicus (Nasdaq: ZLCS), CytRx (Nasdaq: CYTR), Echo Therapeutics (Nasdaq: ECTE), Omni Bio Pharmaceutical (Nasdaq: OMBP), Advanced Life Sciences (Nasdaq: ADLS), ImmunoCellular Therapeutics (Nasdaq: IMUC), Apricus Biosciences (Nasdaq: APRI), and Epicept (Nasdaq: EPCT). The day's earnings report schedule is highlighted by news from Apollo Group (Nasdaq: APOL), Acuity Brands (NYSE: AYI), Audiovox (Nasdaq: VOXX) and SMSC (Nasdaq: SMSC), Helen of Troy (Nasdaq: HELE) and Spectrum Control (Nasdaq: SPEC).
Just a few business days removed from the release of holiday store sales data, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) will have more to say today on same-store sales for the week ended January 8. The last report, which covered through January 1, showed a 0.4% week-over-week sales growth pace driven by after-Christmas deal seeking and an active gift card season. The year-to-year sales comparison showed a weather-subdued 3.6% rate of activity, versus the 4.8% gain posted the week before. Redbook's year-to-year comparison for last week showed a 3.5% pace. There's no economists' consensus forecast for these regular data-points.
Look for Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser's comments on the economic outlook to the Philadelphia Chapter of the RMA, in the premarket.
Wholesale Trade data is due at 10:00 AM for the month of November 2010. October's report showed Wholesale Inventories had gained 1.9% over September and were up 9.9% over the prior year period. Wholesalers' sales were up a better 2.2% against September and 13.4% over the prior year period. This led to an improved Inventory-to-Sales ratio to 1.18, down from 1.22 in 2009. However, this data does not adjust for changes to price, and was very likely significantly impacted by price increase of raw materials. While that still could be good news for wholesalers and reflects an improving economy, it also adds noise to the message about trade volume. Sales of farm product raw materials were in fact up 25.9% in a month's time, while sales of petroleum and petrol products had increased 6.4% - These are clearly price-impacted.
Spain's PM will announce the status of the country's economic condition in a report summarizing 2010. The Bank of Portugal will produce its quarterly bulletin, just a day after a mysterious buyer seems to have helped the nation through debt purchases. Wikileaks' Julian Assange deals with an extradition hearing.
Ford's (NYSE: F) CEO Alan Mulally will meet with analysts at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Tuesday. Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is scheduled to unveil its version of the Apple iPhone (Nasdaq: AAPL). Chevron (NYSE: CVX) will have its interim update Tuesday. IPO lock-ups expire on Qlik Technologies (Nasdaq: QLIK) and RealID.
The JP Morgan Health Conference offers presenters including Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY), Cardinal Health (NYSE: CAH), Aetna (NYSE: AET) and Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO). Needham's growth conference kicks off, starring the likes of AutoDesk (Nasdaq: ADSK) and CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS). The ICR XChange retail conference starts Tuesday as well and the Biotech Showcase 2011 continues. Tuesday's corporate schedule highlights reports from Lennar (NYSE: LEN), Supervalu (NYSE: SVU), H.B. Fuller (NYSE: FUL), Mistras Group (NYSE: MG), Northern Technologies International (Nasdaq: NTIC), Premier Exhibitions (Nasdaq: PRXI) and SYNNEX (NYSE: SNX).
The new majority of the House of Representatives might attempt to bring to vote a repeal attempt against the Obama health-care legislation on Wednesday.
Look for the Import/Export Prices Report for December at 8:30 AM Wednesday. November's data showed a 1.3% increase in import prices, while export prices increased 1.5%. Fuel prices helped lift overall import prices above 1.0% for the first time since June of 2009. The advance in export prices was the swiftest since July of 2008, led by a sharp advance in agricultural export prices. Can you say inflation?
The Mortgage Bankers Association issues its weekly Mortgage Applications data in the pre-market. The latest data for the week ending December 31 showed application volume increased about 2.3%. The holiday period is not going to be reliable for status checking, so look to forward weeks for a better grading. The average contracted rate on 30-year fixed rate mortgages sat at about 4.82%.
The weekly EIA Petroleum Status Report will be released at 10:30 A.M. Last week's report covering the period ended January 7 showed crude oil inventory decreased by 4.2 million barrels, to a level that remains above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Total Motor Gasoline inventory increased by 3.3 million barrels last week, sitting at a level within the upper half of the average range.
The market will be interested in the latest Fed Beige Book release at 2:00 PM ET. The Treasury Department will also report on its December treasury position at 2:00. The last report, covering November, showed a deficit of $150.4 billion. December usually shows a surplus, but last year saw a large deficit posted.
In corporate news, Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) will have a pancreatic drug reviewed by an FDA panel. Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY) has a meeting scheduled with the analytical community. The JP Morgan Healthcare Conference producers presentations by CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS), Forest Labs (NYSE: FRX), Pall (NYSE: PLL), Allos Therapeutics (Nasdaq: ALTH), ARIAD Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ARIA), and Bruker Corp. (Nasdaq: BRKR). The EPS schedule highlights CLARCOR (NYSE: CLC), Dragonwave (Nasdaq: DRWI), Exfo Electro-Optical Engineering (Nasdaq: EXFO), POSCO (NYSE: PKX) and others.
Both Thursday and Friday offer busy schedules for the economic slate. Thursday brings four reports, including the International Trade Report for the month of November at 8:30 AM ET. Economists are looking for the trade deficit to have expanded in December, to $41 billion, up from $38.7 billion in October. The anomalous drop in deficit in October came greatly on petroleum trade and pricing.
Also at 8:30, look for the Producer Price Index (PPI) for the month of December. Economists are looking for the Headline PPI figure to increase by 0.8%, equaling the change for November. The Core Producer Price Index is seen increasing by 0.2%, after a 0.3% increase last month. Indications are that raw materials price increase is starting to feed through to producers. Look for more signs of this Thursday.
Weekly Jobless Claims are also due at 8:30 on Thursday. Last week's data covering the period ended January 8, produced a return to claims levels above the 400K mark, to 409K, after a holiday period anomalous drop. The four-week moving average rests at 410,750, and we could see the weekly figure a bit higher on normalizing non-seasonal activity.
The EIA reports on Natural Gas Inventory at 10:30 Thursday morning. Last week's report covering the period ended December 31 showed natural gas stocks declined by 135 Bcf, to a mark 190 Bcf above the five-year average for this time of year.
Overseas, look for the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of England (BOE) to offer more of the same Thursday, with the BOE on hold and the ECB continuing its liquidity provisions. However, it may be time now, delayed versus the US, for the ECB to announce its own quantitative easing effort. Look for that soon. Ben Bernanke will be speaking Thursday, while attending an FDIC event; he is usually at ease at events like these, and we may get a good feeling for where he stands as a result. Finally, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) meets to discuss the latest proposals Thursday.
On the corporate front, look for Intel to report earnings (Nasdaq: INTC), followed by reports by Charles River Associates (NYSE: CRAI), Commerce Bankshares (Nasdaq: CBSH), Infosys (Nasdaq: INFY), Sealy (NYSE: ZZ), Shaw Communications (NYSE: SJR), Shuffle Master (Nasdaq: SHFL), TeamStaff (Nasdaq: TSTF), and more. The JP Morgan Health Conference offers presentations by Abiomed (Nasdaq: ABMD) and Celera (Nasdaq: CRA). The XChange Investor Conference produces reports from Urban Outfitters (Nasdaq: URBN) and Caribou Coffee (Nasdaq: CBOU) and others. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) has its Technology Series conference focused on "Changing the Rules of Networking."
We get five economic reports for a busy Friday slate. In the premarket wire, look for the Consumer Price Index (CPI), following up on the prior day's PPI data. Economists are looking for Headline CPI to have jumped 0.4% in December, up from the 0.1% rise in November. Energy prices are expected to be behind the spike. Core CPI, excluding energy and food prices, is expected to have risen by 0.1%, against the same rise in November.
Retail Sales are due for December at 8:30, and economists forecast a 0.8% increase, which would match November's rise. When excluding autos, economists are looking for a 0.7% gain, against November's 1.2% rise.
Industrial Production data is due for December at 9:15 AM. Economists are looking for a monthly increase of 0.5% to match against November's 0.4% increase. Capacity Utilization is seen firming further, to 75.6%, up from the 75.2% mark established in November.
Look for the Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment reading at 9:55 AM. This latest report for January is expected to show an improvement in the consumer mood, with the index seen rising to 75.0, up from 74.5 in December.
At 10:00 AM, look for Business Inventories data to follow up on the Wholesale report from earlier in the week. Business level inventories are expected to have risen by 0.7% in November, which compares fine with October's 0.7% increase. Like within the wholesale data, sales rose at a faster 1.4% pace at the business level in October.
On the corporate front, Mesa Air looks to exit bankruptcy Friday. J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) leads the earnings reporters. The list includes Eastern Virginia Bankshares (Nasdaq: EVBS), Material Sciences (Nasdaq: MASC) and Webster Financial (NYSE: WBS).
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