View the top 7 stories to look out for this week (5-9 December) plus our key company earnings schedule.

What do markets expect from the Italian referendum?

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The week ahead

Could Italexit be next on the cards?
Sunday: Italy holds a referendum on changes to the country's constitution, with some analysts suggesting that a "no" vote could ultimately lead to the destruction of the entire eurozone.

Supreme Court begins hearing on government Brexit appeal
Monday: Most are expecting the Supreme Court to uphold the Brexit ruling as it begins its four-day hearing on the government’s appeal. The final decision will be announced in January, so any effect on the pound could be subdued.

Will Chinese manufacturing and services show signs of growth?
Monday: Iron ore and copper prices have risen sharply on speculation of further infrastructure investment in China. Can PMI data show a pickup in economic activity in November?

Ashtead well equipped for half-year earnings?
Tuesday: Ashtead shares are up over 25% since the US election, on speculation that the US tool rental business will benefit from a Trump-led infrastructure boom.

Imagination Technologies posts half-year results
Tuesday: After acquiring  ARM Holdingsand Skyscanner, foreign investors could target Imagination Technologies next if the technology company posts healthy earnings results.

UK manufacturing and industrial production data
Wednesday: Manufacturing activity has picked up again after suffering a significant post-Brexit knock. Could this continue in October as the lower pound boosts exports?

Can sports retailer recover lost ground?
Thursday: Ongoing corporate governance concerns after its warehouses were compared to the 'the gulag' means Sports Direct will have to make up some extra yards in its earnings results.

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Selected UK & US company earnings schedule

Monday 5 DecemberResults
No major companies scheduled to report 
Tuesday 6 DecemberResults
Ashtead Group (UK)Half-year
AutoZone (US)Q1
Consort Medical (UK)Half-year
Costco Wholesale Corp (US)Q1
Dave & Buster's Entertainment (US)Q3
HD Supply Holdings (US)Q3
HealthEquity (US)Q3
Imagination Technologies Group (UK)Half-year
iomart Group (UK)Half-year
 Michaels Cos (US)Q3
Northgate (UK)Half-year
RWS Holdings (UK)Full-year
Toll Brothers (US)Q4
Victrex (UK)Full-year
Wednesday 7 DecemberResults
H&R Block (US)Q2
Numis Corp (UK)Full-year
Stagecoach Group (UK)Half-year
Thursday 8 DecemberResults
DS Smith (UK)Half-year
Photo-Me International (UK)Half-year
Polar Capital Holdings (UK)Half-year
Sports Direct International (UK)Half-year
Friday 9 DecemberResults
No major companies scheduled to report 

Company announcements are subject to change. All the events listed above were correct at the time of writing.

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