NEW YORK (
-- The World Economic Forum kicks off in in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday. Expect to cure what ails Europe in 5 days? Nope. Wine and dine in the Alps? You bet!
The biggest boondoggle in the world will surely draw lots of attention, but the reality is that little ever gets accomplished. There won't be any European debt crisis resolutions but there is supposed to be a session on reshaping the U.S. economy to be led by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The Chinese are sending a huge delegation, so it's really their coming out party.
In the U.S., all eyes will be on the Federal Reserve come Wednesday afternoon at 2:15 p.m. ET when the central bank's Federal Open Market Committee renders its latest decision on rates. No one's expecting a hike but as usual any tweaks to the policy statement will be parsed by traders.
On the economic side of the ledger, new home sales come out at 10 a.m. ET. Home prices are basically flat, which means there are no more bargains and with job creation also flat, not many people feel like buying a new home. But who knows, a good number could lift the market's spirits. T
One of the largest IPOs of the year,
is slated to debut on Wednesday. The highly anticipated offering priced $1 above its range after Tuesday's closing bell, selling more than 71 million shares at $23 each to raise roughly $1.6 billion, according to media reports.
also priced its IPO above range, selling nearly 9 million shares at $17 each, above an anticipated range of $14 to $16, to raise around $150 million.
Nielsen's success is significant because there was only one $1 billion offering in 2010, and that was
. Nielsen has little competition and saw its annual sales grow 6.5% in 2010. It should be fairly well-received by the market.
And then there's earnings.
reported its numbers after Tuesday's closing bell and the stock
as Wall Street was unimpressed with the progress on its transformation and a weak revenue outlook for the first quarter.
Other big movers in extended trades were
RF Micro Devices
is one of the big names due to report on Wednesday. The company continues to grab smart phone market share and 32 analysts rate the stock a buy as opposed to 9 that see it as at hold.
The average analysts' view is for a profit of 72 cents a share on revenue of $3.2 billion in the company's fiscal first quarter ended in December. Qualcomm continues to reap the gains from its alignment with Android phones, and a disappointment would be surprising.
, the spun-off phone portion of parent company Motorola, will also be opening its books for the first time post split, and Wall Street is expecting a loss of 27 cents on revenue of $11.47 billion for fiscal 2010.
The market will be listening for full-year guidance on phone and tablet volumes. Motorola is going up against the iPhone on
now and the hope had been the iPhone launch on Verizon would be later rather than early in the year.
always captures lots of attention as well. The average estimate of analysts polled by
is for a profit of 39 cents a share on revenue of $2.93 billion in the company's fiscal first quarter.
With commodity coffee prices at all-time highs, will the company start to drop hints of rising prices?
has already whispered it will do so.
Look for details on Starbucks' new mobile phone payment system and sales in China. Unfortunately, the divorce between
and Starbucks is becoming as nasty as a Hollywood marriage. That continuing negativity does not help the stock.
, and Dow components
will all deliver earnings as well.
Written by Debra Borchardt in New York
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