Welcome to Seeking Alpha's Stocks to Watch - a preview of key events scheduled for the next week. Follow this account and turn the e-mail alert on to receive this article in your inbox every Saturday morning. A podcast of Stocks to Watch is also available on Sundays on Seeking Alpha, iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify.
A welcome diversion from the noise on the US-China trade and currency battles arrives next week when retail heavyweights Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) line up to spill earnings. The reports should highlight how well insulated the two companies are from the trade war and serve as a decent check on the status of consumer spending in both nations. While Walmart is expected to post revenue of $129B for the quarter and Alibaba is forecast to generate just under $16B, guidance for the full year and beyond from both companies will be crucial. On the macro front, economic reports from the U.S. next week include updates on retail sales, consumer prices and housing starts, while China's retail sales report and foreign direct investment update should also catch some attention.
Notable earnings reports: Barrick Gold (NYSE:GOLD), Sysco (NYSE:SYY), on August 12; JD.com (NASDAQ:JD), Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) and Brinker International on August 13; Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), Macy's (NYSE:M), Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A), Luckin Coffee (NASDAQ:LK) and Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY) on August 14; Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), Alibaba (BABA) and Wal-Mart (WMT), Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT), Nio (NYSE:NIO) and Madison Square Garden (NYSE:MSG) on August 15; Deere (NYSE:DE) on August 16.
Go deeper: See Seeking Alpha's complete list of earnings reporters.
IPO watch: The IPO calendar includes pricing from BioVie (OTCQB:BIVI) on August 12 and CrossFirst Bankshares (NASDAQ:CFB) on August 14. Quiet period expirations arrive for Phreesia (NYSE:PHR), DouYu (NASDAQ:DOYU), Owl Rock Capital (NYSE:ORCC), Mirum Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:MIRM), Fulcrum Therapeutics (NASDAQ:FULC), Genmab (NASDAQ:GMAB), Assetmark Financial (NYSE:AMK) and First Seacoast Bancorp (FSEA) on August 12 to be followed by Medallia (NYSE:MDLA), Afya (NASDAQ:AFYA) and Intercorp Financial (NYSE:IFS) on August 13. There are also IPO expirations for TCR2 Therapeutics (NASDAQ:TCRR), Intercorp Financial (IFS) and Avedro (NASDAQ:AVDR) on August 13.
Spotlight on dividends: The sharp drop in bond yields could increase the focus on stocks offering attractive dividend payouts. While the 2-year Treasury is yielding only 1.65%, a whopping 68 companies listed in the S&P 500 Index are posting a dividend yield of over 4%. That list includes Carnival (NYSE:CCL), Ford (NYSE:F), AT&T (NYSE:T), Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM), Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH), Ventas (NYSE:VTR), Comerica (NYSE:CMA), Exxon Mobile (NYSE:XOM), Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE:VNO), Verizon (NYSE:VZ), Molson Coors (NYSE:TAP), Southern (NYSE:SO), Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG), IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Regions Financial (NYSE:RF).
Go deeper: Read the latest dividend analysis.
Projected dividend changes (quarterly): SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) to $0.56 from $0.50, Tyson (NYSE:TSN) to $0.45 from $0.375, Brinker (NYSE:EAT) to $0.40 from $0.38, First American (NYSE:FAF) to $0.48 from $0.42, Virtus Investment (NASDAQ:VRTS) to $0.65 from $0.55.
Spotlight on CAT: Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) is due to update on retail sales of machines for July. The company's machine sales have been up every month this year but slowed to +4% pace in June on weakness in the Asia/Pacific region and EAME (Europe, Africa, Middle East and Central Asia Region). Heading into the update, shares of Caterpillar have been tracking lower over the last two weeks and the stock was downgraded by Goldman Sachs to Neutral from Buy on construction equipment demand concerns.
Go deeper: Dig into the quant rating on Caterpillar.
M&A tidbits: Elanco (NYSE:ELAN) and Bayer (OTCPK:BAYRY) could announce an animal health deal. Bayer will retain a significant minority stake in the combined company. If an agreement cannot be reached by early September, Bayer is expected to proceed with a broader auction process since it is committed to exiting the animal health business. The Dutch auction tender offer set by Alliance Data Systems (NYSE:ADS) expires on August 15. Also, watch for an official announcement on the CBS (NYSE:CBS)-Viacom (NASDAQ:VIA) remarriage and developments with New Media's (NYSE:NEWM) deal for Gannett (NYSE:GCI).
BTIG Biotechnology Conference: The conference will feature several of the industry's key opinion leaders and other panelists from emerging and established biotechs. TRACON Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TCON), Esperion (NASDAQ:ESPR), TCR2 Therapeutics (TCRR), Beyond Air (NASDAQ:XAIR), Syndax (NASDAQ:SNDX), ArQule (NASDAQ:ARQL), X4 Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:XFOR), Tyme Technologies (NASDAQ:TYME) and Eiger BioPharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:EIGR) are some of the companies making an appearance.
JPMorgan Auto Conference: The conference scheduled for August 13-14 in New York City will provide investors the opportunity to gain insight into a select group of companies in the auto space. The industry has been dented by tariff concerns and lowered global growth forecasts even as major automakers move forward with huge electrification initiatives. The list of attendees looking to set a positive tone includes Ford (F), General Motors (NYSE:GM), Dana (NYSE:DAN), Visteon (NASDAQ:VC), BorgWarner (NYSE:BWA), Superior Industries (NYSE:SUP), Adient (NYSE:ADNT), Shiloh Industries (NASDAQ:SHLO) and Gentherm (NASDAQ:THRM).
Cowen Communications Infrastructure Summit: The event scheduled for August 12-13 in Boulder will include appearances by American Tower (NYSE:AMT), CyrusOne Inc. (NASDAQ:CONE) and Crown Castle International (NYSE:CCI).
Oppenheimer Corporate Midwest Access Day: The event scheduled for August 15 will feature 1-on-1 meetings with a select group of mid-to-large cap companies across sectors and will attract senior portfolio managers and analysts from across the Midwest. Harsco Corporation (NYSE:HSC), Mobile Mini (NASDAQ:MINI), Stericycle (NASDAQ:SRCL) and Anixter International (NYSE:AXE) are some of the companies making the trip.
Analyst/investor presentations: Matson, Inc. (NYSE:MATX) will be hosting an investor day event for institutional investors on August 14. IDEXX (NASDAQ:IDXX) Laboratories is scheduled to discuss the overall companion animal diagnostic market, long-term growth strategy and provide a financial overview on August 14. Brinker International (EAT) will provide an overview of the company's long-term strategic plan and growth opportunities at an event on August 15. Juniper Networks has a webcast scheduled for August 14 title "Tech Talk on AI-Driven Enterprise."
Box office: Disney's (NYSE:DIS) The Lion King and Universal's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw are expected to both bring in around $22M over the weekend, while the debuting Dora and the Lost City of Gold from Paramount (VIA) is seen hauling in $21M. While box office traffic is down for the year, AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) reported with its earnings report that food and beverage spending per patron was up 6% in Q2.
Barron's mentions: The cover story calls out eight stocks for investors dealing with a "really strange" market. Idiosyncratic growth picks are represented by Merck (NYSE:MRK), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Arista Networks (NYSE:ANET) and Equinix (NASDAQ:EQIX), while Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO), Target (NYSE:TGT), Verizon (VZ) and Weyerhaeuser (NYSE:WY) are tagged for their high dividends. A case is made that IHeart shares (NASDAQ:IHRT) are appealing after creditors who received shares in bankruptcy sold their holdings. Stocks that are mentioned in a negative fashion this week include Domino's Pizza (NYSE:DPZ), PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL), Molson Coors (TAP), Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH), MSG Networks (NYSE:MSGN) and DropBox (NASDAQ:DBX).
Sources: CNBC, EDGAR, Reuters, Bloomberg, The Hollywood Reporter