The Week Ahead on Wall Street

Economic Data

Today, US job openings for February will be released. Job openings in the US were 6.9 million in January. Analysts expect that number to increase slightly to 7.0 million for the latest reading.

On Wednesday, the February trade deficit, February consumer credit, and the Federal Open Market Committee minutes will be released. The FOMC meeting minutes provide a detailed snapshot of the Federal Reserve’s prior policy setting meeting and shed light on the Central bank’s stance on monetary policy. Investors will likely be parsing through the minutes for any clues on what the Fed thinks about rising rates and potential inflationary pressure.

On Thursday, initial jobless claims and continuing jobless claims will be published. Jobless claims jumped to 719,000 last week, which was higher than anticipated. This week, the figure is expected to decline to 690,000.

On Friday, February wholesale inventories and the Producer Price Index for March will be released. The PPI measures the change in sale prices for raw goods and services in the US. The PPI increased by 0.5% in February and will be another closely watched inflation metric.

Earnings Reports

Today , Paychex Inc. (PAYX) reports earnings. The HR technology company recently won a 2021 Big Innovation Award from the Business Intelligence Group and was named a leader in real-time payments. With more employees working remotely and online payments gaining traction during the pandemic, investors will be eager to see what’s in store for Paychex.

On Wednesday , Lamb Weston Holdings Inc. (LW) will share its quarterly earnings. Lamb Weston is one of the world’s largest processors of frozen french fries and other frozen potato products. Although bars and restaurants have been closed in certain states, more people were cooking from home over the past year. Wall Street will be curious to see how these trends impacted the food giant. Lamb Weston also recently announced it is investing $250 million to expand its Chinese processing capacity as it aims for growth overseas.

Simply Good Foods Co. (SMPL) will also report earnings on Wednesday . The healthy snack food company owns the Atkins and Quest Nutrition labels and will likely be expected to discuss what an economic recovery could mean for these diet-centric brands.

On Thursday look for an earnings report from Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ). The spirits company saw many of its main sales channels like bars, restaurants, and stadiums shut down during the pandemic. However, as pandemic restrictions ease, shares of Constellation Brands have increased recently. Constellation also owns part of Canopy Growth Corporation (CGC), a Canadian-based cannabis company. As more states legalize medicinal and recreational marijuana, Constellation could stand to benefit.

Conagra Brands Inc. (CAG) also reports quarterly results on Thursday . Over the past 12 months Conagra shares have risen nearly 20% as demand for packaged foods remained relatively robust. The company is also considering a sale of Hebrew National to JBS, the Brazilian hot dog producer, which could fetch Conagra around $700 million.

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