Here Are The Key Market Moving Events For Thursday, May 3, 2012

MTV Real WorldMTV owner Viacom will report quarterly results on Thursday before the opening bell, with expectations for EPS of $0.89.

Photo: MTV

Thursday is a busy day, both on the macro and earnings side. Companies including Kraft, Viacom, and Cigna are all scheduled to report quarterly results for the first three months of 2012. Macro data includes jobless claims in the U.S., homes prices in the U.K., and Chinese services PMI.  Here’s what you need to know.

  • New Zealand starts things off at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday evening with a reading of unemployment. Economists forecast the jobless rate remained unchanged at 6.3 per cent during the first quarter.
  • At 7:00 p.m. U.K. business confidence will be reported by Lloyd’s. There is no consensus opinion for the April report, which last registered at 31. 
  • Chinese services PMI follows at 9:00 p.m. The index last came in at 58. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
  • Indian and Irish service PMIs hit on Thursday morning at 1:00 and 2:00 a.m., respectively. There is no consensus opinion for either reports.
  • It’s back to the U.K. at 2:00 a.m. with a reading of home prices. Seasonally adjusted figures are forecast to show a 0.5 per cent increase in prices in April.
  • British services PMI hits at 4:30 a.m. The headline figure is seen declining to 54.1 from 55.3.
  • Attention shifts to the U.S. at 7:30 a.m. with Challenger job cuts.
  • The European Central Bank will announce any changes to its key lending rate at 7:45 a.m.
  • U.S. announcements continue with the initial unemployment claims report at 8:30 a.m. Expectations are for claims to decline to 379,000 from last week’s 388,000 reading. 
  • Also at 8:30 is nonfarm productivity in the U.S. A preliminary reading of first quarter results is expected to show a 0.6 per cent decline, following the fourth quarter’s 0.9 per cent advance. Unit labour costs are seen increasing 2.7 per cent.
  • Closing out the day at 10:00 a.m. is services ISM in the U.S, which is seen declining 70 basis points to 55.3 in April.

Below, the major earnings announcements scheduled for the day.

Cablevision Systems (CVC): $0.18
Viacom (VIA.B): $0.89
Alpha Natural Resources (ANR): -$0.06
Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI): $0.60
El Paso (EP): $0.28
Airgas (ARG): $1.07
NRG Energy (NRG): -$0.08
Beam (BEAM): $0.47
Cigna (CI): $1.30
Cardinal Health (CAH): $0.88
American Tower (AMT): $0.74
Sealed Air (SEE): $0.21
Progress Energy (PGN): $0.65
Apache Corp (APA): $3.07
Kraft Foods (KFT): $0.56
Public Storage (PSA): $1.42
First Solar (FSLR): $0.48
American International Group (AIG): $1.13
CF Industries (CF): $4.95

Consensus estimates provided by Bloomberg. All times are in Eastern Standard Time.

Click here to see the 18 companies that Bank of America predicts will beat earnings this quarter >

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