Fed meeting, Greek talks, and Facebook — 5 things to know this week
Hello friends and Fortune readers.
The markets this week will be waiting and watching as leaders from the Federal Reserve meet for the last time before September, when a rate hike could finally become a reality. Tech stocks are coming off a volatile week, but Facebook will look to make a positive mark on the market when it releases quarterly earnings. Meanwhile, the government will offer a glimpse of the U.S. economy’s second-quarter growth and Greece will meet with its euro zone creditors in an effort to move toward finalizing the country’s third bailout.
And U.S. authorities are reportedly close to imposing a record $105 million fine on Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for recall lapses covering millions of vehicles.
Here’s what else you need to know for the week ahead.
1. Fed meeting
On Wednesday, the Federal Market Open Committee kicks off its latest two-day meeting to set monetary policy. The conference marks the Fed’s final meeting before September, which is when economic analysts predict the central bank will finally implement its highly-anticipated interest rate hike.
2. Facebook’s big event
The social networking giant reports its second-quarter financial results on Wednesday. Facebook (FB) is expected to show an uptick in revenue, though that growth could be squeezed a bit by the strong U.S. dollar. Investors will be interested to see what kind of user growth Facebook managed while it’s also possible that CEO Mark Zuckerberg could reveal more information about the company’s plans to increase its number of media partners. But Facebook won’t be the only major tech company potentially moving the market this week, as both Twitter (TWTR) and LinkedIn (LNKD) also report earnings this week.
3. Greek bailout talks continue
Talks between Greek officials and the country’s euro zone creditors continue this week. Leaders from the European Commission, European Central Bank, and International Monetary Fund are in Athens to negotiate the approval of the 86 billion euro bailout plan that would represent Greece’s third bailout to date. Greek Parliament voted overwhelmingly last week to adopt an additional set of austerity measures that are key to securing the bailout and leaders on both sides are keen to reach an agreement before the August 20 deadline for Greece’s 3.4 billion euro payment to the ECB.
4. Second-quarter GDP
The U.S. Commerce Department offers a look at the country’s economic growth in the second quarter when it releases gross domestic product data for the April-June period, on Thursday. GDP is expected to have increased at a 2.6% annual rate in the second quarter — thanks to stronger consumer spending — after contracting at a rate of 0.2% during the year’s first three-month period.
5. More earnings to watch
Two of the world’s largest oil companies, Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX), report second-quarter earnings on Friday and both firms are expected to post further declining profits due to low global oil prices. Personal care products giants Procter & Gamble (PG) and Colgate-Palmolive (CL) are reporting quarterly results on Thursday and investors in both companies will be interested to hear about efforts to reduce the impact of the strong U.S. dollar on foreign revenue streams. Meanwhile, Anthem (ANTM) will release its second-quarter results on Wednesday, less than a week after the company announced its $54 billion purchase of smaller rival Cigna (CI) — a deal that would create the largest U.S. health insurer by membership.
—Reuters contributed to this report.