Here Are The Key Market Moving Events For Thursday, March 29, 2012

UniqloGuests visit the a Uniqlo global flagship store during its pre-opening. On Wednesday evening, Japan wil announce monthly retail sales.

Photo: Eugene Hoshiko/AP Images

Thursday is jobs day, and U.S markets will be paying close attention to the weekly announcement out of the Department of labour. Internationally, traders will be looking at the U.K. and Germany for sentiment. In earnings, Best Buy is scheduled to report quarterly results. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Japan starts things off at 7:50 a.m. EST on Wednesday evening with February retail sales. Economists expect overall sales were flat during the month, with large retailers seeing a 0.3 per cent decline.
  • A reading of British home prices by Nationwide follows at 2:00 a.m. EST on Thursday morning, with expectations for prices to improve 0.2 per cent sequentially in March. That’s a slower increase than February’s 0.6 per cent jump.
  • Danish unemployment will be announced at 3:00 a.m. EST. Economists polled by ForexTV expect the jobless rate to remain flat in February at 4.0 per cent.
  • At the same time, Spain is scheduled to release the total number of building permits issued in January. Permits last increased by 4.8 per cent. There is no consensus estimate for the January report.
  • At 3:55 a.m. EST, Germany will release March unemployment figures. Consensus is for the headline rate to remain at 6.8 per cent, but for the total jobless number to fall by 10,000.
  • A reading of British consumer credit will be released at 4:30 a.m. EST. Expectations are for credit expansion to accelerate by £200 million.
  • Eurozone consumer confidence is expected to remain negative when the European Commission releases its report at 5:00 a.m. Economists anticipate a final reading of -19, unchanged from preliminary results. A reading below zero indicates pessimism. 
  • Attention shifts to the U.S. at 8:30 a.m. EST with a final reading of fourth quarter gross domestic product. Economists forecast it will remain at an annualized growth rate of 3.0 per cent. 
  • At the same time, the U.S. Department of labour will release initial unemployment claims. Economists polled by Bloomberg expect a slight increase to 350,000, from last week’s 348,000 reading. 
  • Canadian industrial prices are also set to be announced at 8:30 a.m. EST, with expectations for a 0.5 per cent increase in February.
  • Closing out the day at 11:00 a.m. EST is a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City on manufacturing activity. The key index is expected to remain flat at 13. 

Below, the major earnings announcements scheduled for the day.

Discovery Laboratories (DSCO): -$0.18
Shaw Group (SHAW): $0.45
Best Buy (BBY): $2.15
TIBCO Software (TIBX): $0.19
PEP Boys (PBY): $0.12

Consensus estimates provided by Bloomberg.

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