Hello friends and Fortune readers.
Third-quarter earnings season will still be humming next week, although they are about to wind down. Retailers, which weigh in this coming week, are traditionally the last sector to report their financials.
Here’s what you need to know for your week ahead.
1. Retailers continue to report quarterly earnings.
Retailer earnings continue this week ahead of the important holiday shopping season. Retail sales were stronger than expected in October, and many stores will be hoping consumer optimism holds over the next few months.
Home Depot (HD) leads on Tuesday, followed by Target (TGT) on Wednesday and Best Buy (BBY) on Thursday. Home Depot, which recently reported a massive customer data breach, is expected to have the biggest year-over-year revenue gain, with earnings-per-share of $1.13 on sales of $20.5 billion.
Analysts expect Target to post profits of 46 cents a share on $17.6 billion in sales, and Best Buy to record profits of 24 cents a share on $9.1 billion in sales.
2. The Federal Reserve releases minutes from October meeting.
The Federal Open Markets Committee, which last convened on Oct. 28-29, will release the official minutes from that policy-setting meeting on Wednesday afternoon. The FOMC announced that it is ending its long-running bond-purchase program, although didn’t say when it would start raising interest rates. The minutes will provide details on the Fed’s decision to end its third round of quantitative easing.
Other foreign central banks will also be releasing information on Wednesday. The Bank of Japan will update the status of its monetary policy at the end of its two-day meeting, and the Bank of England releases minutes from its November policy meeting.
3. Group of 20 leaders convene in Australia.
Leaders from the world’s top 20 nations kicked off their annual summit Saturday in Brisbane, Australia. The agenda will focus on ways to best promote economic growth as well as how to close loopholes that let corporations shift profits to low-tax enclaves – a.k.a. tax inversions. Also on the docket is how nations will deal with the rising tensions in Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s push to arm rebels there.
4. Eike Batista heads to court.
Batista, a Brazilian business magnate who made his money in the oil and gas industry, was once the nation’s richest man. He was even labeled the “pride of Brazil” by President Dilma Rousseff, but this week may not be his finest. Batista stands trial Tuesday for allegations of insider trading. If accused, he will be the first in the nation to serve prison time for that crime.
Batista lost most of his $34.5 billion fortune when his oil company OGX collapsed last year. Prosecutors say he illegally dumped shares using privileged information before the company filed for bankruptcy and its stock fell 95%.
5. The World Internet Conference kicks off.
Some of Asia’s top tech CEOs will gather on Wednesday for the World Internet Conference to discuss topics such as countering online terrorism, the mobile Internet and cybersecurity. This is the first event of its kind organized by China to promote Internet growth and innovation. In attendance will be Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma, Baidu CEO Robin Li and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son. The conference runs through Friday.