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By Jeremy Glaser | 11-12-2015 02:00 PM

The Week Ahead: Fed Surprise? Not Likely

What to look for in the Fed's October minutes, discount retailer earnings, and more this week.

For Morningstar, I'm Jeremy Glaser. Welcome to The Week Ahead, our quick take on what investors should have on their radar screens for the week starting Nov. 16.

The minutes of the Fed's October meeting will be released Wednesday. The statement from that meeting left the door open to a December rate hike, and this report will give investors a clearer look at what's on members' minds. But it's unlikely that there are going to be any bombshells, as the main contours of the Fed's dilemma and discussion are already well known. Also keep in mind that these minutes came before October's excellent jobs numbers were released, and many observers think that data makes a rate hike more likely than not next month.

Third-quarter earnings season is mostly in the rearview mirror, but we will get updates from a handful of retailers this week.

Wal-Mart has been under pressure recently as its investments in higher wages, e-commerce, and its stores have weighed on profitability. This quarter might be too early to see a big return on this spending, but investors will be looking for signs that things are moving in the right direction.

As the likes of Macy's keep reporting disappointing results, discounter TJX, which runs brands like TJ Maxx and Marshalls, has been taking market share. We'll see if that trend continues when the firm reports on Tuesday.

From an ill-fated effort to enter the Canadian market to a big data breach to increasing competition from online retailers, it has been a tough couple of years for Target. However, last quarter showed some positive momentum, which very well may continue this quarter, but our Target analyst remains skeptical of the firm's long-term positioning.

On the data front this week, the consumer price index, industrial production numbers, housing starts, and a handful of regional manufacturing surveys are on tap.

Stay tuned to Morningstar for our take on all of these stories throughout the week. 

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