The week ahead, Dec. 7-Dec. 13.
Canada: Darrell Dexter, Nova Scotia premier, state of province address (11:30 a.m.).
U.S.: NASA launches "sky scanner" (Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer) in California. Spacecraft will scan sky for nine months in search of hidden cosmic objects.
Britain: Alistair Darling, chancellor of the exchequer, tables pre-Budget report assessing economy and public finances, and outlining direction of government policy, in advance of his spring Budget.
Qatar (Doha): Gas Exporting Countries Forum. Ministers from world's leading natural-gas producers will be preoccupied with this year's slump in demand and prices, wreaking havoc of public finances of Alberta, which derives most of its resource royalties from gas, not oil.
U.S.: Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims, 8:30 a.m. Commerce Department releases October international trade (impact of weak greenback on trade deficit) and November retail sales, 8:30 a.m., October business inventories, 10 a.m. U.S. Treasury releases federal budget for November, 2 p.m. (latest U.S. fiscal deficit figures).
Japan: Revised Q3 GDP will be a downward adjustment.
Canada: William Downe, CEO, BMO Financial Group, speaks to Economic Club of Canada, Toronto, 11:45 a.m. at One King West Hotel, 1 King St. W. Astral Media annual meeting, TSX Broadcast Centre, Toronto, 2:30 p.m. Most spectacularly stupid merger in history finally will be unwound today as Time Warner spins off AOL (the former America Online Inc.) for about $3 billion (U.S.), a bit shy of AOL's $163-billion (U.S.) valuation when the "convergence" play was consummated in 2000.
Britain (London): At the LSE, George Soros discusses with former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt the latter's provocative new book, The Financial Crisis: How Europe Can Save the World. Today's British Fashion Awards may provide a lift to Stella McCartney's fading appeal, while celebrating 25th anniversary of British Fashion Council.
Italy (Milan): Placido Domingo marks 40th anniversary of his La Scala debut by performing role of Siegmund in complete first act of Die Walkure.
Canada: Laurentian Bank Q4 earnings call, 2 p.m. (1-866-223-7781), Harry Winston Diamond Corp. Q4 conference call, 4 p.m. (800-259-0251, passcode 56737625);
U.S.: Costco Wholesale Corp. Q1 results; Smithfield Foods Inc. (U.S. #1 pork processor), John Wiley & Sons Inc. Q2 results; Ciena Corp. (bidder on Nortel assets) Q4 results.
Canada: Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. secretary of state, speech in Halifax's Cunard Centre. (Details: Dave Howard, 403-620-4255). David Plouffe, Barack Obama campaign manager, speech at Economic Club of Canada, 7:45 p.m., InterContinental Hotel, Toronto, 225 Front St. W. Greg Selinger, Manitoba premier, state of the province speech to Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, 11:30 a.m., Winnipeg Convention Centre. International Human Rights Day marked by B.C. Human Rights Coalition and U.N. Association in Canada at Vancouver Community College, 250 W. Pender St., 5:30 p.m.
Eurozone: Herman Van Rompuy, first permanent European Union president, makes his debut appearance chairing two-day European Council meeting. Potential fireworks between Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy, the latter claiming that the post of EU commissioner for financial services having been secured by a French candidate is a victory for "French ideas about regulation." Sarky has the upper hand in this one since the former chancellor of the exchequer faces certain defeat in British general election next year.
Norway (Oslo): Barack Obama accepts Nobel Peace Prize.
Canada: Statscan October merchandise trade and December economic observer, 8:30 a.m. Consensus is trade deficit of about $700 million, down from October's $927 million deficit.
Brazil: Fiscal Q4 GDP report. The world's eighth-largest economy has grown at a brisk 2% in each of the previous two quarters. But Brazilian business sector - notorious for laggard capital investment - will have to spend more to get GDP back to the annual 5% required to meet Brasilia's employment targets. A big problem is sky-high interest rates for corporate borrowers, averaging 26.5% in October. Also, the real has soared 34% against the greenback this year, biggest advance among world's 16 major currencies and as much of an curse for exporters as Mark Carney says of the over-priced loonie.
Canada: Empire Co. Ltd. (Sobeys) Q2 conference call, 3:30 p.m. (647-427-7450); Gildan Activewear, Q4 results and conference call, 8:30 a.m. (1-800-261-3417).
U.S.: Discounter Dollar General Q3 results.
Canada: National Capital Commission's annual Christmas Lights Across Canada event, 5:30 p.m., Olympic Torch arrives 7 p.m., Parliament Hill.
Canada: Statscan 3Q international investment position, October new housing price index, December social trends, all released at 8:30 a.m.
U.S.: Closely watched Reuters/University of Michigan consumer confidence survey. Consensus expects only slight improvement, but that was before wildly better-than-expected U.S. jobs report a week ago today, in which U.S. jobless rate slipped to 10% from 10.2% - the first decline in the unemployment rate since the U.S. recession began in December 2007. Also November retail sales data, which includes "Black Friday," which was underwhelming, and following "Cyber Monday." Analysts expect slight improvement over October.
Eurozone (London): Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, gives Economist's City lecture on the planned European Systemic Risk Board. Could be interesting if Trichet, world's second most powerful central banker, champions the stricter financial-sector controls that he, Brown, Sarkozy and Merkel favour over the more Wall Street-friendly reforms contemplated by Bernanke and Geithner.
India: October industrial production data. Should continue to rise on $130 billion (U.S.) New Delhi stimulus spending that has seen July-September GDP rise of 7.9%, second only to China's 8.9% for the period.
U.S.: Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. (U.S. #1 motorhomes; in bankruptcy protection) Q4 results.
U.K.: HMV Group PLC interim Q3 results.
France: Dassault Aviation SA (Bombardier rival) Q3 results; Club Mediterranee SA FY09 results.
Mexico: Thousands of Mexicans complete pilgrimage to the capital to celebrate feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Chile: First round of voting on a new president to replace term-limited Michelle Bachelet, first woman president of a Latin American country, with parliamentary vote today as well. A January run-off is likely between leading presidential candidates Eduardo Frei, a former Chilean president representing Bachelet's centre-left Concertacion coalition, and Sebastien Pinera, a billionaire financier on the centre-right ticket.