The race for the White House reaches its climax this week and it is poised to be one of the closest contests ever seen in the US.
Elsewhere, in a busy week of financial reporting in the retail industry, most of the attention will be saved for Marks & Spencer.
Mr Bolland has been under pressure after disappointing figures in May, which prompted the company to cut three-year sales growth targets and reshuffle the general merchandise management team. Womenswear remains the area of concern for M&S, with fierce competition compounded by stock management issues that have left the retailer short of bestselling lines.
For the second quarter, analysts are expecting general merchandise like-for-likes sales to fall 2.5pc and food sales to rise 1.5pc.Profit before tax should be around £280m, down more than 10pc on last year. Bethany Hocking, analyst at Investec (EUREX: INVF.EX - news) , said: “Unlike with Next (Berlin: NXG.BE - news) , M&S’s figures do not include the expected strong October. The highly promotional strategy in GM (NYSE: GM - news) is brand-damaging, in our view, we don’t see acceptable returns on £2.4bn capital expenditure in 2013 to 2015 and we expect bid speculation, which has driven the shares higher, to die down.”
= Will they, or won’t they? =
That is the big question of the coming week. The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee decides on Thursday whether to add to the £375bn stock of quantitative easing, or not.
A month ago, another £50bn was a dead cert. Now, following strong jobs and GDP data as well as some cautious comments from the ratesetters themselves, the consensus is there will be no action. Either way, it will be close with the minutes in the next fortnight likely to reveal a voting split of 5-4 one way or another. Whatever the outcome, the decision will carry major implications on the Bank’s views of the state of the economy.
One swing factor could be the services PMIs on Monday, depending on whether they are very weak or very strong.
Globally, the US election on Tuesday will take centre stage. But, with just days left before Greece theoretically runs out of money, the troika need to decide whether to release the next Eu31.5bn tranche of aid.
= Monday November 5 =
• Adjusting for various provisions and a charge on its own debt, HSBC (LSE: HSBA.L - news) is expected to say its third-quarter profits would have been $6.8bn. The results will be the first since HSBC was fined following an investigation into money laundering in its US business and the bank is likely to be questioned on that as well as other scandals, including its exposure to the Libor-rigging investigations.
Economics UK Services Purchasing Managers Index
Meetings UK Coal (EGM)
= Tuesday November 6 =
• G4S (Other OTC: GFSZF.PK - news) will provide a trading update on the third quarter. It will be the company’s first opportunity to update the market on how the company is faring following the Olympics security fiasco which ultimately cost two of G4S’s senior management their jobs.
• InterContinental Hotels Groups, which is under investigation by the Office of Fair Trading for price-fixing, is expected to press the button on a $500m (£312m) share buyback programme in the fourth quarter. However, investors are still awaiting the outcome of protracted talks, believed to be with a wealthy Middle Eastern investor, over the sale of its New York (Frankfurt: A0DKRK - news) Barclay Hotel.
Economics US presidential and congressional elections, BRC retail sales monitor, ONS industrial production, manufacturing output, eurozone composite PMI
= Wednesday November 7 =
• Luxury fashion brand Burberry appears to have steadied the ship after its shock profits warning in September. Interim results this week should prove that, with investors keen to hear from chief executive Angela Ahrendts on the economic outlook for China, the UK, and US.
Trading update Aer Lingus Group, Capital & Counties Properties, 4Imprint Group, Glanbia (Irish: GL9.IR - news) , Old Mutual (Stockholm: OLDM.ST - news) , Randgold Resources (Other OTC: RGORF.PK - news) , RPS Group (Xetra: 874849 - news) , Smurfit Kappa Group
Economics Eurozone retail sales
Meetings Sinclair IS Pharma (AGM)
= Thursday November 8 =
• Bumi ’s trading update will no doubt be overshadowed by the drama surrounding the FTSE 250 (FTSE: ^FTMC - news) coal company. It emerged on Friday that financier Nat Rothschild is working on a counter proposal to the £750m bid for its assets tabled by the Bakries, his Indonesian partners in the venture with whom he has very publicly fallen out. Meanwhile, lawyers are investigating “potential financial irregularities” at Bumi’s subsidiaries in Indonesia.
Full-year results None scheduled
Interim results BTG (Xetra: 908827 - news) , Cable & Wireless Communications, Charles Stanley Group, Dairy Crest Group (Other OTC: DRCSF.PK - news) , Electrocomponents (LSE: ECM.L - news) , Experian (EUREX: EXPF.EX - news) , Flybe Group, Land Securities, Shanks Group (Other OTC: SHMCF.PK - news) , Tate & Lyle (Dusseldorf: 408414.DU - news) , 3i Infrastructure
Trading update Ark Therapeutics Group, Aviva (LSE: AV.L - news) , Balfour Beatty (Other OTC: BAFBF.PK - news) , Bumi, Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation, Hardy Oil and Gas (LSE: HDY.L - news) , Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Howden Joinery Group, J D Wetherspoon (Xetra: 885372 - news) , Lancashire Holdings (Other OTC: LCSHF.PK - news) , Novae Group, Reed Elsevier (Berlin: RDEB.BE - news) , RSA Insurance (Other OTC: RSANF.PK - news) , Schroders (Berlin: PYX.BE - news) , Sopheon (Euronext: SOPH.NX - news) , Spirent Communications, Sportech (Berlin: ROEA.BE - news) , SuperGroup (Xetra: A1CT6Y - news) , SVG Capital (Other OTC: SVGCF.PK - news) , Trinity Mirror (LSE: TNI.L - news) , Wm Morrison, Yule Catto & Co (LSE: YULC.L - news)
Economics Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee interest rate decision, European Central Bank interest rate decision, Eurogroup meeting on Greece
= Friday November 9 =
Full-year results None scheduled
Interim results Hornby
Trading update AP Alternative Assets, Beazley (Other OTC: BEAZF.PK - news) , Hammerson (Euronext: HAM.NX - news) , Rentokil Initial, Rolls Royce Holdings, Tullett Prebon (Berlin: N5C.BE - news) , XChanging (Xetra: A0MQH0 - news)
Economics ONS trade figures, China inflation
Meetings Galliford Try (AGM) Tangent Communications (EGM)