The Week Ahead
Posted July 8, 2018 5:19 p.m. EDT
Media and Tech Moguls Gather to Discuss Deals
Some of the biggest moguls in technology and media — including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Tim Cook of Apple and Rupert Murdoch of 21st Century Fox — are expected to be in Sun Valley, Idaho, this week for an annual conference run by the investment bank Allen & Co. The gathering, which starts Tuesday, is expected to focus on the intensifying consolidation in the media sector, and it could be the hatching ground for the next big takeover, conceived in the hallways of the resort between panel discussions.
— MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED
E.U.'s Treaty With Japan to Counterbalance U.S. Protectionism
Shinzo Abe, the prime minister of Japan, will visit Brussels on Wednesday to sign an agreement with the European Union to lower trade barriers. The treaty is the latest example of how the European Union is aggressively signing free trade agreements as a counterweight to U.S. protectionism, and it follows similar accords with Canada and South Korea. The agreement is expected to benefit, among other industries, European wine and cheesemakers, whose products will no longer be subject to tariffs when entering Japan.
— JACK EWING
Inflation Probably Picked Up in June
Friday’s jobs report showed that hiring was strong in June but that wage growth remained sluggish. That is bad news for workers hoping for a raise, but it should ease fears that low unemployment will lead to faster inflation. Still, investors and policymakers will be watching closely Thursday when the Labor Department releases data on consumer prices in June. Economists surveyed by FactSet expect the report to show that the Consumer Price Index rose 2.9 percent from a year earlier, which would represent the fastest growth since 2012. Setting aside volatile food and energy prices, however, consumer prices probably rose a more modest 2.3 percent.
— BEN CASSELMAN
European Central Bank to Release Account of June’s Meeting
The European Central Bank on Thursday will publish an account of its June monetary policy meeting, shedding light on the thinking behind the decision to end its main stimulus program after the end of the year. The European economy boomed in 2017, though growth has slowed in recent months and a number of problems lurk in the region. Investors and analysts will also be looking for clues about when the central bank may start to raise key interest rates from record low levels. The bank said last month that it wouldn’t raise rates before the end of next summer, but was vague about how it defined “summer.”
— JACK EWING
Chinese Trade Numbers May Show Effect of Fight With U.S.
Monthly figures from the Chinese government could provide a hint of whether the trade fight with the United States is beginning to take a toll. The data from June, to be released Friday, will reflect the period before President Donald Trump officially began a trade war last week by imposing tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese-made goods. So far, China’s exports to the United States have risen despite the escalating rhetoric between Washington and Beijing. That reflects the strength of the U.S. economy, though stockpiling by American buyers may also be a factor.
— CARLOS TEJADA
Banks to Report Earnings on the Heels of Stress Tests
Banks will begin reporting second-quarter earnings this week, with Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo set to report results Friday. Fresh from winning regulatory approval to give 17 percent more cash back to their shareholders this year than last year, the country’s biggest banks may reveal another stellar quarter — if they have managed to stay ahead of rising interest rates.
— EMILY FLITTER