Boeing Co. (BA) is scheduled to finally deliver its delay-plagued 787 Dreamliner in the coming week. U.S. lawmakers may work through the weekend on a funding measure as yet another threat of government shutdown looms, while Greece and its international creditors will also be spending the weekend in Washington, as they strive for a consensus on austerity measures to increase aid. On the earnings front, Accenture PLC (ACN), one of the world's biggest standalone consulting companies, and Walgreen Co. (WAG), the largest U.S. drugstore chain, both report their quarterly results Tuesday.
Boeing To Deliver First 787 Dreamliner
Boeing is planning three days of events to celebrate the delivery of its first 787 Dreamliner, its first all-new jetliner in 13 years, after years of delays and billions of dollars in cost overruns. On Sunday, Boeing is scheduled to deliver the first of the twin-aisle, ultra-efficient jets to Japan's All Nippon Airways Co. (9202.TO, ALNPY). But the milestone doesn't alleviate all the challenges of the Dreamliner program. Boeing said in a recent filing that the profitability of 787 project is under "significant pressure," and analysts say the project won't turn a profit for years.
Another Congressional Stand-off Threatens Government Shutdown
The federal government again faces a shutdown if lawmakers, who are scheduled to leave for recess next week, fail to agree on legislation to pay for government when its current funding expires at the end of next week.
At the heart of the latest standoff is a disagreement between the parties about how much money to infuse into a depleting disaster-relief fund and a reduction in funding for alternative-energy programs. The House of Representatives approved a short-term bill that would largely extend current federal government funding through mid-November, but Democrats in the Senate have pledged to reject it because of what they say are insufficient funds for those programs.
It is unclear whether Congress will complete its work Friday or work through the weekend ahead in order to stick to plans to take next week off for the Jewish new year holiday, Rosh Hashanah. And without an increase in its budget, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has said the disaster relief budget could run out as soon as next week.
Accenture, Walgreens Expected To Strengthen Bottom Lines
Accenture's fiscal fourth-quarter report follows the company's record earnings per share and revenue in the third quarter, when market-share wins propelled revenue higher in all operating groups and regions. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters don't expect EPS to trump that record Tuesday, but they do anticipate the bottom line to strengthen after Accenture set upbeat revenue targets in June.
Walgreen's fiscal third-quarter earnings are also expected to rise. In the prior period, profit rose more than expected on continuing climbing sales and better margins, anchored by benefits from generic sales and higher margin front-of-store business.
Among other notable names reporting quarterly results next week, Paychex Inc. (PAYX) is to report Tuesday, and Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI) and Mosaic Co. (MOS) are slated for Wednesday. Of them, only Darden is expected to have weaker earnings.
Durable Goods, Final Statement On 2Q GDP
The Commerce Department on Wednesday releases August durable goods orders, a gauge of the health of the country's manufacturing sector. Demand for long-lasting manufactured goods bounced back 4% in July, but a decline in a key measure of capital spending--orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, which economists use to gauge business spending on new equipment--signaled underlying weakness in the U.S. economy.
A day later, the department will release its final figures for the U.S. economy's benchmark indicator, gross domestic product. Last month, GDP growth was revised down to 1% from 1.3% because of recent disappointing economic data, though the revision met Wall Street expectations.
The markets will get more information about the struggling housing market next, as the August status of new home sales comes Monday, followed by the S&P/Case-Schiller home price index Tuesday and July pending home sales Thursday.
Friday will see the release of data on personal income spending.
Solyndra To Request Asset Sales To Hire Lawyers Amid Probe
Embattled solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC will ask the Wilmington, Del., bankruptcy court Tuesday for permission to auction its assets and hire attorneys, including a former Massachusetts governor, to represent it in ongoing investigations into its $535 million government-backed loan deal.
Solyndra, which filed for Chapter 11 recently, is the target of several federal probes, including congressional and criminal investigations focused on whether the company misled the government when it applied for the Department of Energy loan guarantee.
Greek Aid Talks Continue
Talks between Greece and its international creditors over a deal for austerity measures in exchange for fresh aid are to continue over the weekend in Washington. Next week, officials from the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund--dubbed the troika--are expected to return to Athens for face-to-face meetings with Greek officials. Greece is under pressure from its European partners to tighten austerity measures and cut its budget deficit after it appeared the country would overshoot its deficit goals.
UAW, Ford To Enter Talks As Union Shifts Focus From Chrysler
The United Auto Workers union plans to begin serious negotiations on financial matters with Ford Motor Co. (F) on Monday, it told its members Thursday. The union decided to shift its focus to securing a new collective bargaining agreement with Ford after it broke off talks with Chrysler Group LLC Wednesday because of an impasse over pay for entry-level workers and health care costs. General Motors Co. (GM) reached a new four-year contract last weekend and workers will begin voting to ratify the agreement in the next few days.
UAW President Bob King will greet Ford officials and the UAW negotiating team Friday, but advanced negotiations aren't expected over the weekend, according to a letter distributed Thursday to Ford workers.
-By Joan E. Solsman, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2291; email@example.com
--Marie Beaudette, Jeff Bennett and Mike Ramsey contributed to this report.