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Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and U.S. GDP — 5 Things to Know for the Week Ahead

November 22, 2015, 11:00 AM UTC
A parent buys Christmas gifts for her three children at a Toys R Us store in New York's Times Square.
New York, UNITED STATES: Mia Chaney (R) buys Christmas gifts for her three children at a Toys R Us store in New York's Times Square, 25 November 2005, one day after Thanksgiving, known as "Black Friday", the traditional start of the holiday shopping season. The "black" in the term comes from the standard accounting practice of using red ink to denote losses, and black ink to denote profits. AFP PHOTO/Stan Honda (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Photograph by Stan Honda — AFP/Getty Images

Hello friends and Fortune readers.

It’s a holiday week in the U.S., which could make for relatively little excitement at the marketplace, though there is still hope that the stock market can keep up its strong run from last week. In addition to increased travel and shopping around the holiday, this week also brings a Hewlett-Packard earnings report that signals the end of an era for the tech giant, while a handful of other big companies will also post quarterly updates.

Here’s what you need to know to start the week.

1. U.S. stocks look to continue strong run

The S&P 500 posted its best week in nearly a year last week, rising more than 3% and 66 points over five days. The bump came amid a strong run for the health care and consumer stocks, including a 5.5% jump for Nike (NKE) after the athletic apparel giant announced a 2-for-1 stock split. The market will look to post another solid stretch during what is normally a relatively quiet holiday week. A handful of economic reports will shed further light on recent U.S. economic growth, with the Commerce Department expected to report that the gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 2% in the third quarter, which is up from previous estimates. Meanwhile, a report on Wednesday is likely to show that durable goods orders rebounded in October, rising 1.5%, after falling during September.

2. HP’s post-split earnings

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), which officially split into two separate companies earlier this month, reports combined results for both of its companies for the last time ever, on Tuesday. HP’s printer and PC unit, now called HP Inc., is expected to post fourth-quarter sales and profit that outpace Wall Street’s expectations, thanks to a surprising bump in PC demand as well as cost-cutting measures. On the other hand, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which formed from the legacy company’s hardware and enterprise business, will likely post disappointing quarterly profit amid growth concerns.

3. More earnings: Tiffany, Dollar Tree, etc.

Luxury retailer Tiffany (TIF) reports its third-quarter results on Tuesday and the high-end jeweler is expected to beat analysts’ expectations for third-quarter sales and profit, as analysts have been concerned over a drop-off in holiday spending. Meanwhile, discount retailer Dollar Tree’s (DLTR) third-quarter profits are expected to come in below forecasts, as the dollar store chain faces narrowing margins on account of its integration of recently acquired Family Dollar stores. Other companies reporting quarterly earnings this week include Campbell Soup (CPB), GameStop (GME), and Tyson Foods (TSN).

4. Thanksgiving travel

Thursday is the big day (Turkey Day, that is) and AAA predicts that roughly 46.9 million Americans will travel for the holiday, including 3.6 million who will be flying to their Thanksgiving destinations, which could lead to some airport delays. However, while the day before Thanksgiving is apparently not that much busier than the average travel day, the Sunday after the holiday (when everyone heads home from their holiday travels) is actually one of the top ten busiest air travel days of the year. There is some good news for people driving over Thanksgiving, though, as gas prices are 72 cents per gallon cheaper on average than they were at the same time last year.

5. Black Friday shopping

As usual, the day after Thanksgiving is sure to bring a wave of retail sales and a crush of deal-savvy shoppers. Some retailers have already started rolling out Black Friday discounts, including e-commerce giant Amazon (AMZN), while some other chains have joined the rebellion against stores staying open over the post-Thanksgiving shopping holiday.


Reuters contributed to this post.