U.S. markets prepare for a relatively busy week ahead, though inclusive of January’s retail sales report and Industrial production index among others amid an array of corporate results, whereas the prior week witnessed the U.S. dollar rebound against the Euro amid wavering equities markets.
The U.S. dollar reached its highest in 20 days last week against the Euro after European Central Bank’s Chief Mario Draghi’s press conference as his statements placed pressures on the 17-country currency as he signaled the threat of the appreciated Euro on the economy. Draghi’s comments also weighed on European stock markets where U.S. stocks followed.
As for the U.S. calendar next week, the Advance Retail Sales report for January, as U.S. consumers took advantage of the winter clearance in January; therefore U.S retail sales could come stronger than expectations. Retail sales index is forecast to grow 0.1% in that period, compared with 0.5% in December.
In addition, Industrial Production index is due this week; analysts expect U.S. industrial production to have grown 0.2% in January, with improved capacity utilization in the same month.
Moreover, the Empire State manufacturing survey is expected to show an improvement in the sector’s sentiment, in contrast to January’s reading which showed a deeper decline. February’s survey is expected to ease to -2.00 from -7.78 in January.
This week also witnessed January’s budget statement, where the budget deficit is expected to decrease to 5 billion, compared with 27.41 billion previously.
Simultaneously, major companies will release fourth quarter results statements throughout the week. The most prominent would be McGraw-Hill Companies, which now faces a 5 billion federal law suit for ratings tied to pre-crisis ratings from its Standard & Poor’s rating unit, nonetheless had seen a great 2012, as its stock climbed to five-year highs.
Pepsi Co., who announced a dividend of 0.54 per share last week to be paid March 1, will also report its fourth quarter results this week.
Among others, Western Union Co, NVIDIA Corp, Net Life, Cisco Systems, and the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company will also release their earnings statements.