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, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify (click the highlighted links).
The Federal Reserve is squarely in the spotlight next week with FOMC minutes due out on August 21 and the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium kicking off on August 22. The wild action in the bond market has increased the focus on rate cuts, with traders now pricing in a 69% probability of a 25 basis point cut at the September meeting and 31% odds for a 50-point cut. Chairman Jerome Powell will make a speech at the event which has the theme "Challenges for Monetary Policy." Closer to home so to speak, Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) and Home Depot (NYSE:HD) step into the earnings confessional. What will the home improvement companies say about the sudden drop in interest rates and ongoing tariff considerations? Finally, looking for a distraction from the macro maelstrom? Disney (NYSE:DIS) D23 and the Hot Chips tech symposium could be the ticket.
Notable earnings reports:: Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) and Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL) on August 19; Home Depot (HD), TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX), Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL), Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) and Kohl's (NYSE:KSS) on August 20; Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK), Target (NYSE:TGT), Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN), Lowe's (LOW) and Analog Devices (NASDAQ:ADI) on August 21; Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM), VMWare (NYSE:VMW), HP Inc. (NYSE:HPQ), Gap (NYSE:GPS) and Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS) on August 22; Foot Locker (NYSE:FL) on August 23.
Go deeper: See Seeking Alpha's complete list of earnings reporters.
IPO watch: Keep an eye on Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT) this week with the company's share lock-up period ending on August 19 instead of September 24. It's not unusual for lock-up periods to end before the 180-day agreement with underwriters and the company, but it could add to trading volatility for Lyft in the week ahead. Meanwhile, quiet period expirations are on tap for Health Catalyst (NASDAQ:HCAT), Livongo Health (NASDAQ:LVGO), ProSight Global (NYSE:PROS), Sunnova Energy (NYSE:NOVA), Castle Biosciences (NASDAQ:CSTL), Wanda Sports (NASDAQ:WSG) and Vista Oil & Gas (NYSE:VIST). There are no pricings on the calendar for the week ahead, but there could be some more buzz over a potential filing by Postmates (POSTM) and what the implications of that deal are for DoorDash, Uber Eats (NYSE:UBER) and GrubHub (NYSE:GRUB).
Spotlight on high-performance chips: The Hot Chips conference runs next week from August 19-21 deep in the heart of Silicon Valley. Talks are scheduled from AMD (NASDAQ:AMD), Taiwan Semiconductor (NYSE:TSM), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) and Xilinx (NASDAQ:XLNX). Bank of America Merrill Lynch thinks the sector could get a lift as the focus turns away from tariff turmoil toward the tremendous innovation going on with processor AI/graphics.
Projected dividend changes (quarterly): Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU) to $0.54 from $0.47, State Street (NYSE:STT) to $0.52 from $0.47, Community Bank System (NYSE:CBU) to $0.39 from $0.38 and Dillard's (NYSE:DDS) to $0.12 from $0.10.
Go deeper: Read the latest dividend analysis.
Spotlight on home improvement: Home Depot (HD) and Lowe's (LOW) report next week with all kinds of mixed signals flying around. Analysts warn that the pair are running up against tough year-over-year comparisons, unfavorable weather and commodity deflation - but also note that U.S. consumer spending remains strong as highlighted in Walmart's earnings update. Investors will be watching guidance from the two retailers fairly closely to see how the tariff wildcard and sharp drop in interest rates are modeled.
Go deeper: Compare Home Depot and Lowe's side by side.
M&A tidbits: AmeriGas Partners (NYSE:APU) shareholders are set to vote on August 21 on the deal to be acquired by UGI Corp. Activists are lurking at Amag Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AMAG), Dave & Buster's Entertainment (NASDAQ:PLAY) and Care.com (NYSE:CRCM). Will investors bite on speculation of an American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO)-Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) merger?
Disney D23: The list of what to expect out of Disney's (DIS) D23 is long and intriguing. Studios will be front and center as Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel all have an extensive film slate that could be previewed. Upcoming content plays from Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu are also likely to be discussed in detail for the first time. The next trailer for Star Wars: Episode 9 could be a showstopper and some theme park news on the integration of Marvel attractions is also a possibility. Shares of Disney are up 23% YTD into the event scheduled to begin in Anaheim on August 23.
Go deeper: Post-earnings analysis on Disney
FDA watch: FDA action dates arrive for Roche's (OTCQX:RHHBY) entrectinib for NTRK-positive solid tumors and Sarepta Therapeutics' (NASDAQ:SRPT) golodirsen for DMD, AbbVie's (NYSE:ABBV) upadacitinib for rheumatoid arthritis and Nabriva Therapeutics' (NASDAQ:NBRV) lefamulin for community-acquired pneumonia.
Gamescom: New titles are expected to be announced by Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Sony (NYSE:SNE), Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI), Epic Games, Google Stadia (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY) at Gamescom in Germany next week. Turtle Beach (NASDAQ:HEAR) is also unveiling new gaming products at the event. Looking at the industry down the road, the console cycle (PS4, Xbox One, WiiU/Switch) is expected to move into its 9th generation in 2020 with major upgrades that should boost hardware sales significantly. Until then, videogame software sales are forecast to be choppy. While sales rose in July after two consecutive months of double-digit drops, analysts aren't convinced the uptrend will continue. Title releases expected this month include Rad (August 20), Remnant (August 20), Yu-Gi-Oh: Legacy Of The Duelist (August 20), Life Is Strange 2: Episode 4 (August 22), Oninaki (August 22), Puyo Puyo (August 22), Space Harrier (August 22), Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey (August 27), Control (August 27), Knights and Bikes (August 27) and The Bard's Tale IV: Director's Cut (August 27).
Go deeper: See more details on July software and hardware sales.
Proxy battles: The SEC plans to hold a meeting on whether it should publish new guidance regarding the responsibilities of investors when relying on proxy advisors. The issue pits corporations on one side against investors and proxy firms on the other. Corporations maintain that the current rules allow special interests to manipulate boardroom votes, while proxy firm oppose efforts to limit the cost-effective research they say they provide for investors.
Oracle: The Labor Department must clarify a filing before August 22 which Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) managers are being accused of discrimination at the company's headquarters as part of an ongoing battle over compensation. The DOL's dispute with Oracle dates all the way back to 2014.
Short report: It might be the dog days of August, but there is plenty of volatility around names with a high level of short interest. The list of heavily-shorted stocks includes Health Insurance Innovations (NASDAQ:HIIQ), GreenSky (NASDAQ:GSKY), Gogo (NASDAQ:GOGO), GameStop (NYSE:GME), Lannett Company (NYSE:LCI), Accelerate Diagnostics (NASDAQ:AXDX), Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY), National Beverage Corp. (NASDAQ:FIZZ), Intrexon Corp (NASDAQ:XON), Shoe Carnival (NASDAQ:SCVL), Petmed Express (NASDAQ:PETS), Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK), Frontier Communications (NASDAQ:FTR), Eidos Therapeutics (NASDAQ:EIDX), OptiNose (NASDAQ:OPTN), PolarityTE (NASDAQ:PTE), Mallinckrodt(NYSE:MNK), Dillard's (DDS), Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (NYSE:SKT), Hibbett Sports (NASDAQ:HIBB), Applied Optoelectronics (NASDAQ:AAOI), J.Jill (NYSE:JILL), J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP), Akcea Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AKCA), Turtle Beach (HEAR)
Analyst/investor days: Gentex (NASDAQ:GNTX) is scheduled to update investors at at Analyst Day event scheduled for August 21.
Stocks splits: Ideal Power (NASDAQ:IPWR) is firing off a one-for-ten reverse stock split on August 20 in order to regain Nasdaq compliance. SPS Commerce (NASDAQ:SPSC) will execute a two-for-one split on August 22.
Box office: Four films are seen battling it out this week with box office tallies of between $11M and $13M. Universal's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Good Boys debuts against holdovers Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw also from Universal, Sony's (SNE) The Angry Birds Movie 2 and Disney's (DIS) The Lion King.
Barron's mentions: The oil and gas sector gets a lot of love in the publication's detailed cover story. "Energy-stock valuations have come down this year and are below their long-term average. And many industry players are responding to investor pressure to rein in capital spending, curb supply, boost returns, and pay out more to shareholders in dividends and stock repurchases," notes Andrew Bary. Top picks selected include BP (NYSE:BP), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Exxon Mobile (NYSE:XOM), Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A), Concho Resources (NYSE:CXO), EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG), Occident Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) and Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD), Crescent Point Energy (NYSE:CPG), Suncor Energy (NYSE:SU), Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG), Range Resources (NYSE:RRC), Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO), Transocean (NYSE:RIG) and Southwestern Energy (NYSE:SWN). American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) is also profiled favorable, despite the tariff headwinds the retailer faces. The strength of the Aerie brand in particular is seen as a positive. The outperformance of Grocery Outlet Holding (NASDAQ:GO) is also highlighted after the stock doubled since its IPO.
Sources: CNBC, EDGAR, Reuters, Bloomberg, Gameinformer.com