The Week Ahead on Wall Street

Economic Data

There are no economic data reports scheduled to be released today.

Tomorrow November industrial production, November capacity utilization, the November import price index, and December’s Empire State Index will be published. The Empire State Index is the result of a monthly survey of manufacturing activity in New York state. It helps investors and industry professionals get a sense of manufacturing sentiment and statistics in New York, and the direction of the sector across the country.

On Wednesday December’s Markit manufacturing PMI, Markit services PMI, and NAHB home builders’ index will be released. PMI refers to the Purchasing Managers Index, a measure of manufacturing trends that can guide decisions for business leaders, market analysts, and investors. November retail sales will also be announced on Wednesday. The National Retail Federation expects retail sales to rise between November and December with the holiday shopping season. In October retail sales rose just 0.3%, which was lower than economist estimates of 0.5%.

On Thursday November housing starts, November building permits, and initial jobless claims are published. Last week first-time unemployment filings jumped to 853,000—well above economist estimates of 730,000. The latest figure is the highest it’s been since September and is the first time since October that it has risen above 800,000.

On Friday November leading economic indicators and the Q3 current account deficit will be released. The account deficit in Q2 was -$171 billion.

Earnings to Keep an Eye On

On Wednesday Herman Miller (MLHR) will release its latest results. Amid a pandemic that has battered office-centric businesses, the furniture company has expanded in-home offerings with the release of a special edition Sayl chair for gaming. At least two trends could combine to give Herman Miller a good quarter: more people are working and spending time at home, and more people are playing video games. Wall Street will be watching to see if the push of at home products offset lost business in the office-arena.

On Thursday FedEx Corp (FDX) will announce its earnings. The shipping company is well-positioned to take advantage of the pandemic-related boost in e-commerce sales. FedEx earnings nearly doubled what analysts expected earlier this year, and Wall Street expects the run to continue. FedEx’s stock is currently up around 200% since its March lows.

General Mills Inc (GIS) will also announce earnings on Thursday. General Mills sales surged along with other packaged food companies during the pandemic. The company is hoping to hold on to customers with new products and increased marketing in the coming year. Investors will be paying close attention to future guidance from General Mills in terms of how they are thinking about retaining the influx of 2020 customers—especially if a vaccine allows people to venture out more in 2021.

On Friday Nike (NKE) will release its latest results. Last quarter the athletic apparel giant beat revenue estimates by more than $1 billion. Wall Street expects strong performance to continue with holiday sales. In a hint at which retailers are leading in sales this season, UPS set limits on the number of packages delivery drivers could pick up from Nike stores in certain locations.

Lastly Darden Restaurants (DRI) will also release earnings on Friday. Fast-casual chains like Darden Restaurants have boomed on coronavirus vaccine news, with shares of spiking more than 17% in November. A recent surge of infections across the country is worrisome for chains like Darden. Investors will be asking for guidance heading into what is expected to be a tough first quarter of next year.

The Week Ahead at SoFi

It’s getting cold outside, but our events are coming in hot. Join us this week for a variety of virtual experiences—from mastering LinkedIn to investing in a volatile market. Catch them on Zoom, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Register for upcoming events in the SoFi app, and catch up on past events on our YouTube channel.


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