Monday, March 12, 2018
What to watch today
In the week ahead, markets will get two more key checks on the economy with the February reading on consumer prices due out Tuesday morning and the February check on retail sales expected out Wednesday.
For most economists, Friday’s report all but confirmed that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in its March 21 policy statement, but this week’s data could give markets a sense of whether inflation pressures or a consumer spending boom could press the Fed to be more aggressive into the second half of 2018.
And on the earnings side, fourth-quarter earnings season continues to wind down, while the retail sector remains in focus with notable results this week set to include Dollar General (DG), Ulta Beauty (ULTA), Adobe (ADBE), Tiffany (TIF), and Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS).
Trump backs off push for raising assault rifle purchase age: The White House unveiled a new plan to prevent school shootings that backs off President Donald Trump’s support for increasing the minimum age for purchasing assault weapons to 21. Instead, a new federal commission on school safety will examine the age issue as part of a package the White House announced Sunday in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last month that left 17 dead. The administration also pledged to help states pay for firearms training for teachers and reiterated its call to improve the background check and mental health systems. [AP]
Dow Chemical’s Andrew Liveris to depart: Longtime Dow Chemical Co. leader Andrew Liveris plans to step down next month, ending a nearly 14-year tenure that culminated with the chemical giant’s combination last year with rival DuPont Co. Mr. Liveris will relinquish the role of executive chairman of the combined company April 1, it will announce Monday. Co-lead director Jeff Fettig will assume that role at the company, now known as DowDuPont Inc. and soon to be broken apart. [The Wall Street Journal]
Saudi Aramco IPO reportedly unlikely until 2019: British officials have been informed by their Saudi counterparts that oil giant Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering is likely to be delayed until 2019, the Financial Times reported. The Saudi government had targeted a market listing by the second half of 2018, but preparedness for the offering and also willingness for a simultaneous or sequential flotation on a foreign exchange had been questioned, the FT reported, citing sources. [Reuters]
Spotify plans New York listing during week of April 2: Spotify Technology SA plans to list shares on the New York Stock Exchange the week of April 2, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Spotify will deviate from decades of practice by not issuing any new shares or raising money in its initial public offering. Instead, existing stakeholders will offer their shares to investors, which is known as a direct listing. An active market for private stock sales over the past couple of years has helped the company establish a valuation higher than $20 billion, based on some of the transactions. [Bloomberg]
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