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Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch

Stock MarketsAug 22, 2019 05:26PM ET
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© Reuters. - Here’s a preview of the top three things that could rock markets tomorrow.

1. Jackson Hole: All Eyes on Powell

The symposium of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyo., kicked off Thursday, but traders have been anxiously waiting for Fed Chairman Jay Powell's speech.

Powell's remarks, scheduled to start at 10 AM ET (14:00 GMT), will likely provide fresh clues on monetary policy measures at a time when global bond yields are on the backfoot on expectations that central banks will ramp up stimulus.

At the same time, the Commerce Department reports new home sales in July.

On average, economists expect that sales declined 0.2% in the month, but, on a seasonally adjusted basis, the annual rate rose to 686,000, from 646,000 in June, according to forecasts compiled by

2. Oil Rig Count Rolls In

Traders will look to the latest rig count data due Friday for clues on crude production activity following an uptick in U.S. production to 12.3 million last week.

Data last week showed the number of oil rigs operating in the U.S. fell by 4 to 770. The number is down 11.4% from a year ago.

The weekly rig count is an important barometer for the drilling industry and serves as a proxy for oil production and oil services demand.

Oil prices look set to end the week up slightly as expectations that central bankers will adopt easier monetary policy measures to prevent a slowdown in the global economy have calmed fears of a deeper slip in oil demand.

3. Footlocker Earnings Due

Foot Locker (NYSE:FL) is expected to report earnings of 67 cents a share on revenue of $1.82 billion before markets open on Friday.

With the U.S. consumer showing little spending restraint, market participants are closely watching whether the athletic-apparel company will rebound with an earnings beat, after unexpectedly missing estimates in the previous quarter.

Ahead of the report, Wedbush said it expects Footlocker's quarterly performance to receive a boost from the company's product pipeline of largely outperforming brands, including Nike (NYSE:NKE), Puma and Vans.

"After a choppy start to the year, ( Foot Locker (NYSE:FL)) management should assert confidence in the story given strong consumer demand for its products, the loyalty rollout, planned moderation in SG&A pressure and resumption of share repurchase activity," Wedbush said.

Shares were up 5.5% on Thursday but are down 22.9% this year.

Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch

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