While markets keep an eye out for fresh developments on trade and Turkey, next week brings results from US retailers — including the largest, Walmart — a dusting of economic data and another round of Brexit talks.
Here’s what to watch in the coming days.
Walmart and US earnings
US earnings season starts to wind down with just 14 companies listed on S&P 500 reporting next week. The focus shifts to retailers with companies like Macy’s, Nordstrom and Home Depot, along with non-S&P 500 members like JCPenney and Williams-Sonoma, set to unveil quarterly updates.
Walmart, the world’s largest retail chain, is due to report results on Thursday. Analysts are expecting adjusted earnings of $1.22 a share on sales of $126.1bn, according to a Thomson Reuters survey.
The company has switched strategy to better combat Amazon by exiting markets like Germany and South Korea and pivoting to markets like China, Latin America and India, where it parked $16bn in Flipkart earlier this year. Investors are likely to expect updates on the investment on the earnings call along with possible news of further investments.
UK and US data
The economic calendar is fairly light next week. In the UK, focus turns to employment and inflation data after the Bank of England earlier this month lifted rates to the highest level in almost a decade and signalled that further rate rises are on the way.
Employment data on Wednesday are expected to show the number of people in work rose by 95,000 in the three months to the end of June — slower than 137,000 in the previous quarter — while the unemployment rate held steady at 4.2 per cent.
Meanwhile, consumer prices due the following day are estimated to be flat month-on-month in July and up 2.5 per cent from a year ago. Economists expect the drag from clothing and footwear should have faded, while transport and food could help boost figures. Core consumer prices that strip out volatile items like food and energy are projected to have risen 1.9 per cent year-on-year.
Across the pond, investors will eye US retail sales data due Wednesday, which are expected to show retail sales climbed 0.1 per cent in July from the previous month. So-called control retail sales, which exclude petrol, building materials and other volatile items, are expected to have advanced 0.4 per cent.
Two days of Brexit talks between the UK and EU are scheduled to resume in Brussels on Thursday. UK trade secretary Liam Fox has recently increased pressure on EU leaders to agree to Prime Minister Theresa May’s Chequers Brexit plan. In an interview with the FT, he said the European Commission’s “intransigence” made it “60-40 per cent” likely that the UK would have to leave without an agreement next March.
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