Walmart Earnings and Consumer Prices—5 Things to Know Today

November 17, 2015, 12:23 PM UTC
Operations Inside A Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Location Ahead Of Black Friday
An employee arranges frozen turkeys displayed for sale at a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. location ahead of Black Friday in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Monday, November 24, 2014. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg
Photograph by Patrick T. Fallon — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hello friends and Fortune readers.

Wall Street stock futures are higher this morning as global markets rebound in the wake of last weekend’s terror attacks in Paris. The dollar is up against the euro, and oil is down as concerns return about an oversupply in crude.

Today’s must-read story is by Fortune’s Shawn Tully on why a highly respected Vatican official would go rogue and leak sensitive financial documents about the Catholic church to a reporter, leading to the arrest of the highest-ranking Vatican official ever. Read more here.

Here’s what else you need to know today.

1. Walmart reports.

Walmart (WMT) reports its third-quarter earnings today. The world’s largest retailer by revenue is expected to reveal earnings-per-share of 98 cents, down from $1.15 a share a eyar earlier, according to Thomson Reuters data. Walmart has struggled with anemic sales, shocking Wall Street with news that its revenue won’t grow this fiscal year as the retailer expect a sharp drop in profits next year. To try to close that gap, Walmart has turned to wooing more affluent, middle class consumers.

2. TJX reports.

Meanwhile off-price retailer TJX Companies (TJX) is expected to report a third-quarter profit above estimates. The chain, which sells clothing, merchandise, and accessories has boosted its full-year profit twice as low gas prices and higher store traffic bring bargain-hunters into its stores.

3. U.S. consumer prices are forecast to rise.

After two straight months of declines, U.S. consumer prices likely climbed higher in October. The Labor Department will release monthly numbers for the consumer price index, a closely watched measure of inflation, at 8:30 a.m. ET. The price gains are expected to be due in large part to rising rents, though cheaper fuel and heavy discounting by big retailers has kept inflation well below the Federal Reserve’s 2% goal.

4. Home Depot and U.S. housing updates.

Home Depot (HD) reports its quarterly earnings today. The No. 1 home improvement retailer has been cashing in on an improving U.S. housing market, which appears to be continually improving. U.S. homebuilder sentiment is still at its strongest level in more than a decade this month, a report from NAHB/Wells Fargo is expected to reveal today.

5. Monsanto investors convene.

Monsanto (MON), the world’s largest seed company, kicks off its biennial investor event in St. Louis today. CEO Hugh Grant and other executives will touch on issues affecting the company and strategic initiatives that will continue to drive growth. Grant recently sat down with Fortune’s Susie Gharib following the company’s failed $46 billion bid for rival Syngenta (SYT) to talk about Monsanto’s newest investments.

— Reuters contributed to this post.

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