The Week Ahead: Fed meeting, jobs report, Halloween spending, earnings galore

Here’s a look at some of the stories Missouri Business Alert is tracking this week:

Monday

The Department of Agriculture will report agricultural prices for October, offering updated data on prices received by farmers for crops, livestock and livestock products.

Halloween is expected to spur record spending of $8.4 billion, according to a National Retail Federation survey. The federation says Americans will spend an average of $82.93 on decorations, candy and costumes. No word on how much of that is directly attributable to David S. Pumpkins costumes.

Local companies scheduled to release quarterly earnings include Aegion and Olin.

Additional companies set to report financial results include SolarCity and Tenet Healthcare.

Tuesday

Media company tronc is scheduled to report quarterly results and hold a conference call. The update comes amid rising doubt that rival Gannett will complete its acquisition of tronc, Bloomberg reports. The two companies have agreed to the takeover, but banks financing the deal have backed out, according to people familiar with the matter.

Local companies scheduled to release quarterly earnings include Cerner and Emerson.

Additional companies set to report financial results include DineEquity, Electronic Arts, Etsy, Kellogg Co., Match Group, Molson Coors Brewing, Pfizer, Square, and United States Steel.

Technology conference Compute Midwest gets underway for a fifth year in Kansas City. The annual event will bring together a variety of entrepreneurs and technologists “to explore the technologies transforming tomorrow,” organizers say.

Wednesday

The Federal Reserve Bank’s Federal Open Market Committee concludes its two-day meeting with an announcement about its plans for the Federal funds rate. After a month of mostly strong economic data since the Fed’s last meeting, some have speculated that the central bank could move to raise interest rates. But most economists and investors don’t think the Fed will vote to increase rates less with than a week remaining before the presidential election, Bloomberg reports.

Time Warner Inc. is scheduled to report earnings. AT&T, the Dallas-based telecom company, announced last week that it plans to acquire Time Warner, the New York-based media and entertainment company, in a deal valued at $85.4 billion. The merger is viewed as a bet on synergy between one company that distributes content to consumers and another that produces it.

CenturyLink, which has operations in the St. Louis area thanks to its 2011 acquisition of Savvis, is scheduled to report earnings. The quarterly report comes against the backdrop of late-stage merger talks between Louisiana-based CenturyLink and Colorado-based Level 3 Communications, the St. Louis Business Journal reports.

Local companies scheduled to release quarterly earnings include Belden and Stifel Financial.

Additional companies set to report financial results include Alibaba, Allergan, Allstate, Anthem, Blackrock, Facebook, Jones Lang LaSalle, Metlife and the New York Times.

The Lean Startup Conference kicks off in San Francisco, featuring two days of talks from high-profile speakers from the world of tech and entrepreneurship. But you don’t have to be in the Bay Area to view the talks, as there are live stream events taking place in Columbia, Kansas City, Springfield and St. Louis.

Thursday

Chain stores are expected to report sales for October. Sales for the stores correspond with about 10 percent of total retail sales, according to Econoday.

Great Plains Energy will release earnings after market close, followed by a conference call Friday morning. The quarterly update is the first for Great Plains, the parent company of Kansas City Power & Light, since shareholders approved its acquisition of Westar Energy, Kansas’ largest utility. The companies continue to navigate a variety of regulatory roadblocks to the deal, which they say should close in the first quarter of 2017.

Other companies of local interest scheduled to release quarterly earnings include Aratana Therapeutics, Charter Communications and EPR Properties.

Additional companies set to report financial results include adidas, Cigna, Hyatt Hotels, Kraft Heinz and Starbucks.

Friday

The Labor Department will deliver its employment situation summary for the month. Total nonfarm employment grew by 156,000 in September, and the unemployment rate increased by a point, to 5.0 percent, as more people joined the labor market. Consensus estimates call for 178,000 new jobs this month, according to Econoday. If the Fed resists raising rates at its meeting Tuesday and Wednesday, another strong jobs report would add to speculation about a December rate hike.

Local companies scheduled to release quarterly earnings include Ameren.

Additional companies set to report financial results include E.W. Scripps and Humana.

Saturday

It’s the first day with a full slate of films at the annual Citizen Jane Film Festival, a Columbia event designed to celebrate “independent film by independent women.” The festival actually opens on Wednesday, but the majority of the screenings are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

One Day University returns to the Kansas City area. The conference, c0-hosted by the Kansas City Star, features talks from a variety of college professors on subjects ranging from music to evolution to the American presidency. Tickets are $99 or $179.


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