Phil Knight and an EU Economic Update—5 Things to Know Today
Hello friends and Fortune readers.
Wall Street stock futures took a hit this morning after Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister ruled out production cuts, hurting commodity prices and oil stocks, and Brexit fears rattled European markets.
Today’s must-read story is by Fortune’s David Meyer on the latest WikiLeak’s document drop that shows the U.S. National Security Agency spied on top foreign leaders.
Here’s what else you need to know today.
1. Nike Co-Founder Phil Knight’s a huge donation
Phil Knight has donated $400 million to Stanford University for a new graduate-level leadership program. The sum is the largest donation Stanford has ever received and matches the largest gift ever bestowed to a university. Hedge fund magnate John Paulson last year donated $400 million to Harvard’s engineering school.
2. The state of EU economies.
The European Commission will release updates on the economic status of each EU nation today, including analysis and recommendations. Focus will be on Italy, France, and Spain given concerns over their national budgets deficits or debt. The Commission forecast this month that the EU’s economic growth is expected to remain stable at 1.9% this year.
3. Target reports.
Target (TGT) reports its fourth-quarter earnings before the market open today. The retailer is expected to report earnings per share of $1.54 on $21.75 billion in sales, according to Thomson Reuters data. Target has recently completed its exit from the Canada market and handed off its pharmacy assets to CVS, so analysts will be looking to see how the retailer is faring now that it’s focusing on its core businesses.
4. And Salesforce.com.
Salesforce.com (CRM) reports its fourth-quarter earnings after the market close today. Analysts expect earnings per share of 19 cents on revenue of $1.79 billion. The cloud-based customer management software company has been gaining against established rivals Oracle (ORCL) and SAP (SAP), though disappointing reports from other technology companies has also hit Salesforce.com’s stock this week.
Also reporting today: Lowe’s (LOW), TJX (TJX), and HP (HPQ).
5. More U.S. housing data.
The Commerce Department will release new home sales numbers for January, which is anticipated to have fallen 4.4% to a 520,000 unit-rate. The dip is likely due to bad weather in certain parts of the U.S. Meanwhile, home resales across the nation unexpectedly rose in January, hitting a six month high, according to data released Tuesday.