The latest quarterly earnings reports are due from a handful of retailers and solar-product manufacturers, with members of both industries expected to broadly report improved results on higher demand.
The Conference Board's reading on consumer confidence in the U.S. for February is due Tuesday, after it reported January's reading grew near levels last seen in May.
Meanwhile, a committee set up by several opposition groups in Bahrain said it would postpone anti-government protests until Tuesday as families mourn four demonstrators killed in a police raid.
Earnings Due From Macy's, Saks, Gap, Barnes & Noble
A handful of retailers--including bookstore chain Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS), department-store operators Macy's Inc. (M) and Saks Inc. (SKS) and casual-apparel retailer Gap Inc. (GPS) will be reporting earnings. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect top- and bottom-line improvement from Macy's, Gap and Saks, as retailers reported mostly strong holiday sales, and January results topped expectations as shoppers largely shrugged off bad weather. Barnes & Noble is expected to report an increase in sales, but a lower profit.
Analysts See Strength From Solar-Product Manufacturers
Solar-product manufacturers First Solar Inc. (FSLR), JA Solar Holdings Co. (JASO) and Trina Solar Ltd. (TSL) are among the companies expected to report results next week. Analysts expect improved top- and bottom-line results from the trio, as the sector benefits from board supply growth, falling solar-panel prices and government incentives. China-based JA Solar and Trina are poised to post larger increases for both measures from year-earlier levels.
Conference Board To Release US Consumer Confidence Data
The Conference Board's reading on consumer confidence in the U.S. for February is due Tuesday, after it reportedly moved in January to 60.6 from the revised 53.3 seen in the prior month. The January reading was well above the 54.4 number expected by economists, leaving the index near levels last seen in May.
Meanwhile, the Conference Board this week said it changed the methodology and polling company used to collect information for the survey. The board said the data will now be collected by Nielsen Co., instead of the research company TNS Inc. (TNS). TNS discontinued the program connected to the confidence survey, the board said.
NYSE, Nasdaq Markets Closed Monday
U.S. Equity trading on NYSE Euronext's (NYX) New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NDAQ) will be closed Monday in observance of Presidents Day.
Trading floors operated by CME Group Inc. (CME) will be closed Monday, which includes the Nymex and Chicago floors, however electronic trading is open for part of the day, excluding a trading halt between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. Central Time.
Medical-device Giant Medtronic 3Q Results Due Tuesday
Medical-device giant Medtronic Inc. (MDT) reports early Tuesday for its fiscal third quarter. The company is facing sluggish conditions in top markets, but has some closely watched new products coming online that could help it try to offset these pressures.
Any comments on the state of big markets and issues like pricing pressure could be important for the industry at large, due to Medtronic's heft. So will updates on the CEO search; Medtronic is looking externally for a successor to current Chief Executive Bill Hawkins, who plans to retire when the fiscal year ends in April.
Bahrain Opposition Groups Postpone Rally To Tuesday
A committee set up by seven opposition groups in Bahrain to coordinate anti-government protests has planned for a massive demonstration on Tuesday. The protests and clashes that erupted several days ago turned the island nation into the latest flashpoint in a wave of Arab rebellion that has unseated regimes in Tunisia and Egypt and triggered large protests in Algeria, Jordan and Yemen.
Brazil Expected To Detail Budget Cuts Next Week
Brazil's recently announced federal budget cuts will be detailed fully next week, according to Brazilian Federal Budget Secretary Celia Correa. The South American nation plans to cut roughly $30 billion in spending from the 2011 federal budget as part of its efforts to curb excess demand in the economy, inflation pressure and the need for an elevation of local interest rates.
Uganda Election Results Expected Sunday
Uganda's presidential and parliamentary campaigns for the Feb. 18 polls ended Wednesday and the country's election body is expected to announce the final results on Sunday. The polls pit President Yoweri Museveni, in power since 1986, against seven opponents. The police and army have been deployed heavily across the country, mainly in urban centers, which are considered opposition strongholds.
Hungary Seen Leaving Rates Steady - Economists
The Hungarian central bank is likely to leave its policy rate unchanged at 6% on Monday, according to a Dow Jones Newswires poll of 15 investment bank economists. The decision will be the last one of the Monetary Policy Council in its current form as the mandate of four of the seven council members expires by the end of February.
Sinopec Plans To Sell $3.5 Bln Of Convertible Bonds
China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (SNP), or Sinopec, said Friday it plans to sell CNY23 billion ($3.5 billion) worth of convertible bonds Wednesday, in what would be the largest convertible bond issuance for the Asia-Pacific region since late August. The bond issuance by Asia's biggest refiner by capacity comes as Beijing has been encouraging companies to use the country's corporate bond market to raise funds.
Among the significant conferences next week are the Consumer Analyst Group of New York Conference Monday through Friday in Boca Raton, Fla.; EnerCom Inc.'s The Oil & Services Conference Tuesday through Thursday in San Francisco; WJB Capital Group Inc. Boston Med-T Party: One-on-One Management Access Conference on Tuesday in Boston; Credit Suisse Group Global Paper and Packaging Conference Wednesday and Thursday in New York; Jefferies Global Clean Technology Conference Wednesday and Thursday in New York; and the Robert W. Baird & Co., Inc. Business Solutions Conference Wednesday and Thursday in Boston.
-By John Kell, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2480; firstname.lastname@example.org
(Dow Jones Newswires staff contributed to this report.)