Week ahead: Fed speak, Walmart results, Oatly IPO

Inflation worries have rattled Wall Street as of late - and investors are eager to hear what members of the Federal Reserve have to say about the stickiness of rising prices.

Fed speak tops the Reuters Business Calendar for the week of May 17th.


There's a lot of angst out there about rising inflation, and with the next Fed meeting weeks away, investors will be listening ever-more closely when voting members of the rate-setting committee speak throughout the week.

Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic gives opening remarks at a two-day Fed conference on Monday and Tuesday. Fed Governor Richard Clarida speaks at that conference on Monday.

Bostic is back again Friday at a Fed roundtable with fellow voting member Thomas Barkin of the Richmond Fed.

Carin Pay is head of equity strategy at Fiduciary Trust Interntional:

"With the weaker consumer confidence number, with the weaker retail sales number, the markets may be thinking, well, that gives the Fed some room to wait for a much more sustained economic recovery before tapering."

Another Fed keynote on Friday at a different event: San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly participates in a panel discussion on wages. A hot topic given claims by business leaders that extra government jobless benefits are causing a shortage of hourly workers.

Want to know what the Fed was thinking at its last meeting? Minutes are released on Wednesday.


Sticking with the economy. It's a big week for housing.

The National Association of Home Builders puts out its homebuilder sentiment index on Monday. New housing construction and permits data come out on Tuesday. Weekly mortgage application numbers are due on Wednesday.

And then on Friday, April home resale figures are released. Economists predict 6.08 million units were sold last month, that's a slight uptick from the month before. Housing is running into an inventory problem with low interest rates fueling demand so strong that houses are snapped up nearly as soon as they hit the market.


Earnings season isn't over yet. We get some big names from the retail sector.

Walmart, the reigning king of big-box retailers, is out on Tuesday. Analysts are expecting earnings of $1.21 per share.

Sales are expected to come in at $132 billion.

Home Depot, a beneficiary of the stay-at-home trade, also reports Tuesday. Analysts forecast sales of $34.6 billion...the consensus profit forecast is $3.06 a share.

On Wednesday we hear from Home Depot rival Lowe's, as well as discounter TJX...parent company of TJ MAXX, Marshall's and Home Goods...

And Target reports. Earnings are expected to hit at $2.18 a share...Wall Street is looking for revenues of $21.5 billion


Oatly hopes to cash in on the plant-based food craze. With star-studded backers like Oprah Winfrey and Jay-Z behind it, Oatly is looking for an opening market value of $10 billion.

The stock will start trading on Thursday at the Nasdaq.

Ticker symbol: O-T-L-Y.


The week rounds out with a presidential visit to an American icon.

President Biden will visit a Ford electric vehicle facility in Michigan on Tuesday.

Ford recently announced plans to invest $185 million in battery development.

And that's some of the events to look out for.

I'm Conway G. Gittens for Reuters