The Day Ahead: Retailers in Focus

 | Nov 19, 2013 | 8:30 AM EST  | Comments
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It's a big week for retail earnings as investors hope to gauge the health of the U.S. economy ahead of the all-important holiday-shopping season. U.S. stock futures have been trading in a narrow range Tuesday morning as the results have come in.

Early reports include Best Buy (BBY), whose shares were recently slumping about 6% in the premarket. The electronics superstore has returned to profitability, but expressed caution going into the holiday season. Dick's Sporting Goods' (DKS) shares were up slightly after beating earnings-per-share estimates by a penny. Home Depot (HD) shares moved higher on positive third-quarter results and a raised outlook.

Away from retail, Campbell Soup (CPB) missed first-quarter estimates on falling soup demand and lowered its outlook. Shares dipped sharply in early trading. Medtronic (MDT), for its part, beat top- and bottom-line forecasts.

And Action Alerts PLUS holding TJX Cos. (TJX) is expected to report EPS of $0.74 on sales of $6.91 billion before the bell. Also, look for results from Valspar (VAL), Diana Shipping (DSX) and Trina Solar (TSL), among others.

Late Monday, Salesforce.com (CRM) saw a narrower loss in the third quarter on higher revenue compared with a year earlier. Shares were down slightly in the premarket. Urban Outfitters (URBN) said profit rose in the third quarter, beating expectations, but offered caution for the holiday-shopping season. Shares dipped about 4%.

Krispy Kreme (KKD) and La-Z-Boy (LZB) are due to report after trading ends today.

In company news, Action Alerts PLUS holding JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is expected to announce details of its multi-billion-dollar settlement with the Justice Department over civil liabilities tied to the sale of mortgage-backed securities. The bank is also reportedly in talks to sell $4 billion worth of private-equity stakes.

Tesla (TSLA) shares are losing momentum in the premarket as Congress begins a probe of vehicle fires that have recently plagued the electric-car maker.

The economic calendar includes the Employment Cost Index at 8:30 a.m. ET, which economists expect to remain unchanged at 0.5 % in the third quarter. Also, Redbook's retail sales report are set for release at 8:55 a.m.

On the Federal Reserve calendar, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans speaks at 2:15 p.m. ET, and Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to give a speech at 7 p.m. And Janet Yellen's nomination to replace Bernanke goes to a panel vote in Congress this week.

European markets were recently off their highs and Asian markets were mixed overnight. December gold was up slightly, and January oil dipped near $93 per barrel.

Columnist Conversations

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Yellen speaks at 10 a.m. EDT Friday and Mario Draghi addresses the gathering at 2 p.m. EDT.

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