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Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch

Investing.com - Here's a preview of the top 3 things that could rock markets tomorrow.

1. Fed Minutes, Housing Activity in Focus

Monetary policy comes into focus tomorrow as the Federal Reserve releases the minutes of its July meeting at 2 PM ET (18:00 GMT).

With expectations running high that the U.S. central bank is likely to cut rates at its meeting next month, the minutes will likely be parsed for further insight into policymakers’ appetite to support easier monetary policy measures, specifically if there was much dissent among the FOMC members.

President Donald Trump earlier this week continued to call on the Fed to cut rates.

Trump said the central bank should cut interest rates by at least 100 basis points and throw in “some” quantitative easing for good measure.

The National Association of Realtors releases its report on July existing home sales at 10 AM ET (14:00 GMT).

Forecasts compiled by Investing.com expect the report to show existing home sales in July rose 2.5% from June to 5.39 million units on an annualized basis.

2. Crude Inventories on Tap

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) releases its weekly petroleum report Wednesday morning.

Ahead of the EIA report, the American Petroleum Institute released data, which often serves as an early indication of weekly petroleum levels, showing crude stockpiles fell by 3.5 million barrels last week.

The EIA is expected to report crude stockpiles fell by 1.889 million barrels last week. The report has confounded economists’ estimates lately, showing a build for two consecutive weeks against expectations for a decline.

Crude oil futures rose 0.2% to settle at $56.34 a barrel.

3. Lowe's, Target) Earnings Due

Earnings from Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW) are due before the opening bell Wednesday, coming a day after rival Home Depot (NYSE:HD) topped forecasts but cut its outlook amid pressures from falling lumber prices.

Lowe's is expected to report earnings of $2.01 a share on revenue of $20.95 billion.

The home-improvement retailer’s results are expected to reflect an uptick in costs amid restricting efforts. It announced store closures and job cuts last year as part of a major restructuring plan.

In its first-quarter report, the home-improvement retailer cut its full-year earnings outlook, and investors will be keen for an update following the key spring quarter.

Lowe's shares are up 6.2% this year.

Target (NYSE:TGT), meanwhile, is expected to report earnings of $1.62 a share and revenue of $18.3 billion before the opening bell on Wednesday.

As well as earnings and guidance, commentary concerning the Trump administration’s decision to delay tariffs on retail-sensitive items such as toys and clothes to Dec. 15 from Sept. 1 will likely draw close attention.

The tariff delay eased fears that U.S. companies would be forced to pass any additional levies on certain items to consumers during the key holiday season.

Target (NYSE:TGT) shares are up 29% this year.

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