Hello friends and Fortune readers.
This week, the federal government will report on what is expected to be strong November retail sales, while a handful of major companies will release financial results from their most recent fiscal quarters. Lawmakers also face a Friday deadline to pass a federal funding bill and avoid another government shutdown. And, there should be an update about the antitrust review of the proposed Staples-Office Depot merger, while yet another high-flying tech company is expected to hold its initial public offering.
Here’s what you need to know for the week ahead.
1. Federal funding deadline
Friday marks the deadline for Congress to pass a $1.1 trillion federal spending bill that would let government agencies keep functioning. A stopgap funding passed at the end of September expires at the end of this week, and a long-term solution is needed if Congress is to avert a federal shutdown. Last week, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would stop federal funding to Planned Parenthood and unravel Obamacare, though the president is expected to veto the bill.
2. U.S. retail sales
Also on Friday, the Commerce Department releases figures that are expected to show a 0.3% uptick in U.S. retail sales in November. Higher incomes and cheap gasoline prices helped lift vehicle purchases during the month, which includes the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Fewer shoppers hit stores on Black Friday, but online sales soared on Cyber Monday. U.S. consumer sentiment is also expected to have jumped this month to a four-month high, thanks to low gas prices.
3. Atlassian IPO
This year’s IPO market has been relatively tepid, but it could receive a boost this week when Australian cloud-based enterprise software company Atlassian is expected to make its public debut. As Fortune reported a couple of weeks ago, Atlassian is looking to raise up to $370 million in its IPO with its shares likely priced within a range that tops out at $18.50 per share. The high end of the range would value the tech unicorn (defined as a startup valued at $1 billion or higher) at just under $4 billion. Atlassian will debut on the Nasdaq under the symbol TEAM.
4. Earnings: Costco, Lululemon
Corporate earnings reports continue to trickle in, with a handful of large companies scheduled to report their latest financial results this week. On Tuesday, warehouse retailer Costco Wholesale (COST) is expected to report sales that fall short of analyst forecasts because of slow October store traffic likely outweighing a November rebound.
Meanwhile, yogawear retailer Lululemon Athletica (LULU) reports its latest earnings on Wednesday. The company, which saw its shares decline recently over analysts’ margin concerns, is expected to report a slight dip in third-quarter profit. Other companies reporting quarterly earnings this week include Photoshop-maker Adobe Systems (ADBE) and tax prep company H&R Block (HRB).
5. Staples-Office Depot deal antitrust review
The Federal Trade Commission is set to wrap up its months-long antitrust review on Tuesday of Staples’ (SPLS) planned $6.3 billion acquisition of rival office supply retailer Office Depot (ODP). However, the regulator could extend its review after reports came out last week that agency officials are concerned that a combined company would harm competition as the only nationwide office supply retailer.
— Reuters contributed to this post.
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