This Week: Walmart results, Fed minutes, US home sales

The Associated Press

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week:

MIXED RESULTS?

Wall Street expects that Walmart's latest quarterly snapshot will show mixed results.

Financial analysts predict the world's largest retailer will report Tuesday that its earnings were flat in the November-January quarter versus a year earlier, even as revenue increased. Walmart has been expanding its online sales by acquiring brands and adding more items. It has also been ramping up grocery delivery and pickup options.

SPOTLIGHT ON THE FED

The Federal Reserve releases the minutes from its recent meeting of policymakers Wednesday.

At the meeting, the panel decided to keep the central bank's benchmark interest rate steady and sent a strong signal that it saw no need to raise rates anytime soon. Its message ignited a rally on Wall Street, which cheered the prospect of continued modest borrowing rates for the near future.

HOUSING MARKET BELLWETHER

Economists project that sales of previously occupied U.S. homes rose in January from a month earlier.

Home sales cratered in December, causing price growth to slip to the lowest level in more than six years as the housing sector ended 2018 on a decidedly weak note. The National Association of Realtors is expected to report Thursday that sales edged up to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.01 million last month.

Existing home sales, in millions, seasonally adjusted annual rate:

Aug. 5.33

Sept. 5.15

Oct. 5.22

Nov. 5.33

Dec. 4.99

Jan. (est.) 5.01

Source: FactSet