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The week ahead: US & UK Q1 GDP, eurozone CPI & Nike results

Chief Market Analyst, Michael Hewson, provides his thoughts and analysis on this week's market events.

View his week ahead video, the top stories for this week, plus our key company earnings schedule. Michael looks at the key levels on the German DAX as trade concerns increase, as well as the key levels on Brent Oil after the Opec agreement and the pound on the 2nd anniversary of the Brexit vote.

Carpetright full-year results
Tuesday: Recent months have been difficult for UK retailers as margins continue to come under pressure from higher business rates and staffing costs. Consumers are also having to balance rising inflation against a backdrop of stagnant wages growth. In March, Carpetright management warned that it would slump to a £4m loss this year. This is a big drop from the numbers that were anticipated at the end of last year, when a profit in excess of £10m was expected. Having secured a £60m credit valuation adjustment (CVA) earlier this month, focus is now likely to turn to further store closures and restructuring options, on top of the 92 closures that were announced in April.    

Nike Q4 results
Thursday: At its most recent trading update Nike managed to offset a poor performance in its home US market with a strong update in international markets. It still wasn’t enough to prevent a Q3 loss of $921m, though a large part of that was as a result of the recent January tax changes, which saw the company post a one-off charge of $2bn. On the plus side revenue improved to $8.98bn, which it is hoped will translate into an equally buoyant performance in this week’s Q4 numbers. The only worry will be the recent escalation in the trade spat between the US and China, as Nike’s Q3 figures showed a big 24.3% jump in sales in China. For now China has limited its retaliation to US agricultural goods, but that could change if consumer goods are also included. 

US Q1 GDP/core PCE (May)
Thursday & Friday: Having seen the Federal Reserve raise rates seven times since 2015, another strong PCE number (Fri) will reinforce expectations that we remain on course for a further move on rates at the September meeting. A weak number could undermine that expectation, while the final Q1 GDP revision (Thu) is likely to confirm that the US economy only slowed modestly at the beginning of this year to 2.2%. Since then, however, data has suggested that the economy has bounced back fairly strongly.  

Friday: Bad weather in March combined with a sharp slowdown in the construction sector, is likely to see Q1 GDP confirmed at 0.1% later this week. While there has been speculation that we might see a modest upgrade to 0.2%, this doesn’t seem likely given that most of the updated numbers came from the end of the quarter, when cold weather saw the services sector slow sharply. It is important to note that the data since then has improved, and historically Q1 tends to be the weakest quarter. This year is unlikely to be any different from the previous two years.   

EU CPI flash estimate (June)
Friday: The most recent European Central Bank meeting saw the bank push back its expectations for an interest-rate rise towards the end of 2019. This follows concerns over weak inflation and slowing growth, which have prompted caution about the outlook for monetary policy in the coming months. We have seen a pickup in inflation in the last two months, with the consumer price index (CPI) rising from 1.2% to 1.9% in the space of a month, as the effect of rising oil prices finally started to trickle down to the headline numbers. If this trend continues, we could see June CPI data pushed towards the ECB’s 2% inflation target for the first time since February last year, matching a five-year peak.

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See this week's details
Monday 25 JuneResults
Porvair (UK)S1 18 
Polar Capital Holdings (UK)Y 18 
Tuesday 26 JuneResults
Jamba IncQ1 18 
Lennar CorpQ2 18 
Schnitzer Steel Industries IncQ3 18 
FactSet Research Systems IncQ3 18 
Aerovironment IncQ4 18 
Sonic CorpQ3 18 
Carpetright (UK)Y 18 
Northgate (UK)Y 18 
IHS Markit (UK)Q2 18 
Wednesday 27 JuneResults
Rite Aid CorpQ1 19 
General Mills IncQ4 18 
Paychex IncQ4 18 
UniFirst Corp/MAQ3 18 
Worthington Industries IncQ4 18 
CalAmp CorpQ1 19 
Pier 1 Imports IncQ1 19 
Franklin Covey CoQ3 18 
Investors Real Estate TrustQ4 18 
Thursday 28 JuneResults
Redcentric (UK)Y 18 
Stagecoach Group (UK)Y 18 
Greene King (UK)Y 18 
Bed Bath & Beyond IncQ1 19 
OMNOVA Solutions IncQ2 18 
McCormick & Co Inc/MDQ2 18 
Apogee Enterprises IncQ1 19 
SYNNEX CorpQ2 18 
KB HomeQ2 18 
NIKE IncQ4 18 
Friday 25 JuneResults
Constellation Brands IncQ1 19 
Reach (UK)S1 18 
Company announcements are subject to change. All the events listed above were correct at the time of writing.
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