Investing.com - The week ahead marks the first big week of the third-quarter earnings season on Wall Street, with names like Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS ), Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX ) and IBM (NYSE: IBM ) set to report.
Global financial markets will also focus on the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting, due on Wednesday, for further insight into the outlook for monetary policy in the months ahead.
In addition to earnings and the Fed, U.S. retail sales figures for September, which come out on Monday, should give clearer signs on the strength of the American consumer.
A recent batch of upbeat economic data combined with hawkish remarks from Fed officials bolstered the case for the U.S. central bank to raise rates in December and beyond, triggering a sharp jump in Treasury yields.
Elsewhere, China also has key data, including third-quarter GDP on Friday, amid warnings from analysts that the ongoing trade dispute with the U.S. could drag on economic activity.
The U.S. Treasury’s semi-annual report on currency manipulators will also be on the agenda. China has for years dodged being labeled one and media reports suggest it’s not been labeled this time either, even as the yuan is approaches the 7-per-dollar mark.
Meantime, in Europe, traders will be able to get their teeth into the latest snapshots of U.K. inflation, employment, and retail sales for further indications on the continued effect that the Brexit decision is having on the economy.
Political headlines will also be in focus as investors watch developments surrounding Brexit talks and Italy's budget drama.
European Union leaders meeting in Brussels from Wednesday to Friday, are expected to spend time discussing Italy, even if it is not formally on the agenda of an exceptional three days of talks.
That agenda does include efforts to finalize a withdrawal deal with Britain.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of the five biggest events on the economic calendar that are most likely to affect the markets.
1. Q3 Earnings Season Kicks into High Gear
Bank of America and Charles Schwab (NYSE: SCHW ) report Monday ahead of the opening bell.
Tuesday sees Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS ), Blackrock (NYSE: BLK ), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ ) and UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH ) post results in the morning, while tech giants Netflix and IBM are due in after the close along with CSX (NASDAQ: CSX ) and United Continental (NASDAQ: UAL ).
On Wednesday, Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT ), US Bancorp (NYSE: USB ), Winnebago Industries (NYSE: WGO ) and Northern Trust (NASDAQ: NTRS ) report earnings in pre-market hours, while Alcoa (NYSE: AA ), Kinder Morgan (NYSE: KMI ), United Rentals (NYSE: URI ) and Steel Dynamics (NASDAQ: STLD ) will post results in the evening.
Blackstone (NYSE: BX ), Bank of NY Mellon (NYSE: BK ), Philip Morris (NYSE: PM ), PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG ), Nucor (NYSE: NUE ) and Travelers (NYSE: TRV ) are on the docket Thursday morning. After the close, results are expected from American Express (NYSE: AXP ), PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL ), E-Trade (NASDAQ: ETFC ), Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG ), and Skechers (NYSE: SKX ).
Analysts have said they are expecting another strong quarter, with earnings growth at around 20%, according to Thomson Reuters data.
However, the season is being clouded by trade tensions and their impact on corporate profits, with analysts likely to scrutinize outlook statements to see if companies discuss the impact of President Donald Trump's trade policies on future spending plans, input costs and profitability.
2. Fed FOMC Meeting Minutes
The Federal Reserve will release minutes of its most recent policy meeting on Wednesday at 2:00PM ET (1800GMT).
The U.S. central bank raised interest rates by a quarter point as was widely expected following its meeting on Sept. 26 - its third rate hike of the year - and took a slightly more hawkish tone by dropping the word "accommodative" to describe its monetary policy stance.
A number of Fed speeches will get market attention in the week ahead, particularly after President Donald Trump called the Fed "crazy," "loco," and "too aggressive" in raising rates.
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President Mary Daly speaks Tuesday, Fed Governor Lael Brainard speaks Wednesday, Fed Governor Randal Quarles speaks Thursday and Atlanta Fed boss Raphael Bostic speaks Friday.
The Fed foresees another rate hike in December, three more next year, and one increase in 2020, despite rising trade tension with China and mounting verbal pressure from the White House.
3. U.S. Retail Sales
The Commerce Department will publish data on retail sales for September at 8:30AM ET (1230GMT) Monday.
The consensus forecast is that the report will show retail sales rose 0.7% last month, after a mere 0.1% increase in August, the smallest rise in six months.
Excluding the automobile sector, sales are expected to increase 0.4% .
Rising retail sales over time correlate with stronger economic growth, while weaker sales signal a declining economy. Consumer spending accounts for as much as 70% of U.S. economic growth.
Besides the retail sales report, this week's calendar also features U.S. data on building permits, housing starts, industrial production, as well as surveys on manufacturing conditions in the Philadelphia and New York regions.
Investors will also be bracing for any news out of the political sphere, as the U.S. midterm elections – due in November – draw closer.
4. China Q3 GDP
China will be the first major economy to report third-quarter growth data when it publishes its GDP numbers at around 0200GMT on Friday (10:00PM ET Thursday).
The report is expected to show the world's second-largest economy grew 6.6% in the July-Sept. period, a shade lower than the 6.7% growth in the second quarter.
The Asian nation will also publish data on September industrial production, fixed asset investment and retail sales along with the GDP report.
Recent data has started to show that China's economy may be losing steam, raising concerns about the potential fallout from the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute.
The U.S. has slapped tariffs on more than half of over $500 billion in Chinese imports, for which China has retaliated, after several rounds of negotiations failed to resolve U.S. complaints over Chinese industrial policies, lack of market access in China and a $375 billion U.S. trade deficit.
5. UK Inflation Figures
The UK Office for National Statistics will release data on consumer price inflation for September at 0830GMT (4:30AM ET) on Wednesday.
In addition to the inflation report, traders will focus on monthly employment and retail sales data, due on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively, for further hints on the health of the economy.
The British economy's summer surge turned out to be stronger than expected as hot weather spurred consumer spending, although a weak August hinted at slower growth ahead of Brexit next year, official data last week showed.
Stay up-to-date on all of this week's economic events by visiting: http://www.investing.com/economic-calendar/
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