The Week Ahead
Posted April 15, 2018 3:08 p.m. EDT
AT&T and Time Warner CEOs Will Take the Stand
As the Justice Department’s suit to block AT&T’s merger with Time Warner enters its fifth week, the top executives of both companies will take the stand in federal court. Jeff Bewkes, chief executive of Time Warner, will go first, followed by Randall Stephenson, chief executive of AT&T. Both are expected to testify early in the week. The executives will vigorously defend the $85 billion merger, which they say will create a stronger competitor to ascendant streaming video services. The Justice Department is expected to pose tough questions to the executives on how the combined companies could try to raise prices on rival cable and satellite firms — increases that would trickle down to consumers.
— CECILIA KANG
The IMF and the World Bank Discuss the Economy
World leaders will travel to Washington for the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which run from Monday through Sunday. The organizations are likely to repeat their message of recent months, cautioning governments to make tough reforms to increase their economic productivity now, while global growth remains strong. They have also urged countries to avoid trade protectionism.
— ANA SWANSON
Bad Weather May Have Cooled Sales in March
The Census Bureau is scheduled to release data Monday on retail sales in March, providing another marker of the economy’s health and stability. Cold weather across much of the country may have led to a decline in discretionary shopping in March. Sales fell slightly in February, a typically quiet time for shoppers after the holiday rush.
— MICHAEL CORKERY
More Big Banks Will Report First-Quarter Earnings
Bank earnings reports continue this week, with Bank of America reporting first-quarter results Monday, followed by Goldman Sachs on Tuesday and Morgan Stanley on Wednesday. Each could see a boost from recent stock market volatility, but a breakout performance on loan or deposit growth would be a surprise.
— EMILY FLITTER
High Court Hears Arguments on Taxing Online Retailers
Internet retailers will face a reckoning at the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, when the justices hear arguments about whether to reconsider a 1992 ruling that helped spur the rise of online shopping. That decision barred states from forcing companies to collect sales taxes if they do not have a local physical presence. Some justices have signaled that they are ready to overrule the decision, which costs states billions in tax revenues and puts brick-and-mortar stores at a competitive disadvantage.
— ADAM LIPTAK
Trump and Prime Minister Abe Meet at Mar-a-Lago
President Donald Trump will host Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan for two days at Trump’s Florida estate starting Tuesday. While Abe has spoken with Trump more than any other foreign leader, the president’s decision not to exclude Japan from tariffs on steel and aluminum has strained their relationship. Both U.S. and Japanese officials expect Abe to confront the president on trade, which may include a conversation about Trump’s recent announcement that he would consider rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Also on the table are Trump’s plans to meet with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, a decision that stunned Abe.
— WILL DUDDING
Tax Day Arrives Later Than Usual, but Arrives Nonetheless
Tuesday is the deadline to file your 2017 income tax returns, so there isn’t much time left. The good news: Because of a local holiday in Washington, taxpayers have had an extra 48 hours to file this year — traditionally, Tax Day is April 15. Tuesday is also the deadline to contribute to your individual retirement account or your health savings account. Although you technically have until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday to file electronically, it’s probably best to finish your returns before the absolute last minute. And if you still file by mail, your post office is less likely to stay open late than it once was.
— ZACH WICHTER
Another Round of Tariffs Could Be Coming for Chinese Products
Sometime this week, the White House may release a list of roughly $100 billion in Chinese products that could be hit with additional tariffs in the coming months. That measure is the latest threat in an escalating series of trade measures between the United States and China, as the Trump administration tries to push Chinese leaders into abandoning what he has described as unfair trade practices.
— ANA SWANSON