• Fed's Bullard discusses economy ahead of Dec. 16 FOMC decision
  • Macri takes office in Argentina; French regional voting starts

U.S. retail sales gained in November by the most in four months and consumer sentiment rose as declining gasoline prices gave Americans a leg up at the start of the holiday-shopping season, reports in the coming week probably will show.

Congress must pass a $1.1 trillion U.S. spending bill before its current stopgap funding runs out in order to keep the government operating.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard discusses the U.S. economy, the last central bank official scheduled to do so ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee’s December policy meeting.

The U.K., Switzerland and South Korea are among countries setting monetary policy. The Swiss central bank will also issue new growth and inflation forecasts.

U.S. antitrust officials come to the end of their review period of Staples Inc.’s proposed $6.11 billion takeover of Office Depot Inc.

Volkswagen AG’s supervisory board plans to meet to discuss the latest developments in investigations into its manipulation of emissions.

H&R Block Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp. and Inditex SA are among companies reporting earnings.

Argentine President-elect Mauricio Macri is sworn into office, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will start a three-day visit to India and local elections take place in France and Indonesia.

SATURDAY, DEC. 5

-The UN COP21 climate-change conference continues in Paris through 12/11. Click here for the schedule.

-The two-day Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, concludes in Johannesburg.

-Republican U.S. presidential candidates Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul and Rick Santorum appear at the half-day Rising Tide Summit in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, sponsored by the Tea Party-affiliated FreedomWorks. Begins at 14:00 (15:00 EST).

-Latvia’s Unity party convenes amid a decline in popularity that has threatened the leadership of Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma. 10:00 in Riga (03:00 EST).

-Amgen Inc. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. are among companies participating in the American Society of Hematology annual meeting. In Orlando, Florida, through 12/08. Click here for the agenda.

-ECONOMY: Colombia inflation (Nov.)

SUNDAY, DEC. 6

-Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the Brookings Institution’s 12th annual Saban Forum, “Israel and the United States: Yesterday, today, and tomorrow." Noon in Washington.

-French regional elections. The first round of voting to select legislatures takes place, with France’s National Front expected to make gains. Polls close at 20:00 CET (14:00 EST). Key results come after the second round on Dec. 13.

-Venezuela congressional elections. Voters will choose 167 lawmakers to be seated on Jan. 5 for five-year terms. Polls are predicting the opposition is set to win at least a simple majority for the first time in 16 years. Balloting opens at 06:00 (05:30 EST) and closes at 18:00.

MONDAY, DEC. 7

-China’s foreign-exchange reserves may have fallen in November, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists, as currency weakness continues to drive fund outflows. Time to be determined.

-Bank of Japan’s Governor Haruhiko Kuroda speaks at a Europlace event. 12:45 in Tokyo (12/06 22:45 EST).

-Bank of Jinzhou Co. begins trading in Hong Kong after the Chinese commercial lender based in Liaoning province raised $794 million in an initial public offering of shares priced near the low end of their marketed range.

-Euro-area finance ministers meet to discuss the work of the Single Supervisory Mechanism, the state of play in Greece, Ireland’s assistance program and economic growth and unemployment. The meeting begins in Brussels at 15:00 CET (09:00 EST).

-Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard discusses the U.S. economy and monetary policy at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. 12:30 EST.

-U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, the front-runner to succeed David Cameron as prime minister, answers questions about the British economy and foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. 13:00 EST.

-Viacom Inc. Chief Executive Officer Philippe Dauman; Charter Communications Inc. CEO Tom Rutledge; CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves; AT&T Inc. CEO Randall Stephenson; Time Warner Inc. CEO Jeff Bewkes and Liberty Media Corp. CEO Greg Maffei are among the scheduled speakers at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference. In New York through 12/09.

-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visits Ukraine, where he’ll address parliament and meet with President Petro Poroshenko. Timings to be determined.

-Switzerland begins the trial of Manuel Echeverria, who ran Banco Santander SA’s Optimal Investment Services unit in Geneva and was charged in 2009 with criminal mismanagement of client funds by investing with convicted fraudster Bernard Madoff’s firm. 09:00 CET in Geneva (03:00 EST).

-The U.S. Energy Information Administration releases its Drilling Productivity Report, showing estimates for oil and gas output from the biggest shale formations. 14:00 in Washington.

-Australia’s Chief of Navy Tim Barrett will use a speech in Sydney to discuss how his fleet will deal with potential aggressors, support Australia’s alliances with other liberal democracies and partners and uphold the rule of international maritime law in the region through increasing naval interdependence. Noon in Sydney (12/06 20:00 EST).

-Indonesia’s parliament speaker Setya Novanto appears at a hearing with the House’s ethics committee on his role in an alleged effort to extort a stake in Freeport-McMoRan Inc.’s Indonesia mine.

-U.S. government bond auctions, Fed debt purchases. Click here for the schedule.

-U.S. initial public stock offerings. Click here for a schedule.

-ECONOMY: U.S. labor market conditions (Nov.), U.S. consumer credit (Oct.), Chile inflation (Nov.), Taiwan exports/imports (Nov.), South Korea external debt (third quarter), German industrial production (Oct.), Swiss foreign-currency reserves (Nov.), South Africa gross and net reserves (Nov.), Israel foreign currency balance (Nov.), Russian CPI (Nov.), Czech industrial output (Oct.), Hungarian budget balance (Nov.), Ukrainian CPI (Nov.)

-CENTRAL BANKS: Israel minutes

-EARNINGS: H&R Block Inc.

TUESDAY, DEC. 8

-China’s trade surplus may have reached a record high in November as low commodity prices weighed on imports, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists. About 10:00 in Beijing (12/07 21:00 EST).

-Japan releases revised third-quarter gross domestic product data, after initial figures showed the economy contracted as business investment fell. 08:50 in Tokyo (12/07 18:50 EST).

-The United Malays National Organisation, Malaysia’s biggest political party, begins its five-day annual general assembly amid a months-long political scandal surrounding Prime Minister Najib Razak. Tensions have risen within the UMNO as some members seek the prime minister’s resignation over allegations of financial irregularities at a state investment company and political donations to his private accounts.

-European Union finance ministers discuss rules on securitization, banking union and cooperation on tax and financial transactions. Meeting begins in Brussels at 10:15 CET (04:15 EST).

-Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz speaks before the Empire Club of Canada at 13:10 in Toronto, followed by a press conference at 14:10. The remarks of his speech will be published on the central bank’s website at 12:55.

-Wells Fargo & Co. Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. CEO Bill Demchak, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Financial Officer Marianne Lake and Deutsche Bank AG Co-CEO John Cryan are among the scheduled speakers at the Goldman Sachs U.S. Financial Services Conference in New York.

-Mallinckrodt Plc Chief Executive Officer Mark Trudeau is among the scheduled speakers at the Oppenheimer Healthcare Conference. In New York through 12/09.

-Comcast Corp. CEO Brian Roberts, Verizon Communications Inc. CEO Lowell McAdam, CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves and General Electric Co. CEO Jeff Immelt are among the scheduled participants in the Business Insider’s Ignition conference. In New York through 12/09.

-The antitrust review period of Staples Inc.’s planned $6.11 billion takeover of Office Depot Inc. by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission ends today. The regulator, which has zeroed in on whether the creation of just one national retailer of office supplies would harm competition and raise prices for corporate customers, could extend the review for further investigation.

-Home Depot Inc. holds an investor and analyst conference, at which the world’s largest home-improvement retailer will lay out its new three-year financial targets. 09:00 in Atlanta with simultaneous webcast.

-The U.S. Energy Information Administration releases its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook, with forecasts for supply and demand, and prices. Noon in Washington

-ECONOMY: NFIB U.S. small-business optimism (Nov.), U.S. job openings/labor turnover survey (Oct.), Canada housing starts (Nov.), Canada building permits (Oct.), Taiwan inflation (Nov.), Japan current account (Oct.), euro-area GDP (third quarter), Bank of France business sentiment (Nov.), U.K. industrial production (Oct.), South Africa current-account balance (third quarter), South Africa manufacturing production (Oct.), Turkey industrial production (Oct.), Egypt CPI (Nov.), Hungarian CPI (Nov.) and industrial output (Oct.)

-EARNINGS: AutoZone Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 9

-China factory-gate prices may continue to decline in line with a month earlier, signaling there’s no end in sight for the country’s deflationary mire. Consumer inflation may have gained marginally in November, according to a survey of Bloomberg economists. 09:30 in Beijing (12/08 20:30 EST).

-The Bank of England Financial Policy Committee publishes the record of its November meeting, when officials led by Governor Mark Carney discussed risks to financial stability, though held off imposing new limits on buy-to-let property borrowing or raising a capital buffer on banks. 09:30 in London (04:30 EST).

-Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan, Citigroup Inc. Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach, American Express Co. CE0 Ken Chenault and Capital One Financial Corp. CEO Richard Fairbank are among the scheduled speakers on the second day of the Goldman Sachs U.S. Financial Services Conference in New York.

-Volkswagen AG’s supervisory board plans to meet to discuss the latest developments in investigations into its manipulation of emissions. Timing to be determined in Wolfsburg, Germany.

-European Central Bank Executive Board member Sabine Lautenschlaeger speaks in Abu Dhabi. 10:00 (01:00 EST).

-ECB Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny speaks in Vienna. 10:00 CET (04:00 EST).

-Indonesia holds elections for local leaders, from city mayors to regional governors, across the country. At stake is the ability to hand out investment permits and spend central government funds on infrastructure.

-The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging holds a hearing on drug-price increases after seeking information from Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, Retrophin Inc. and Rodelis Therapeutics. 14:30 in Washington.

-Connecticut utility regulators are scheduled to make a final decision on Iberdrola SA’s proposed $3 billion takeover of UIL Holdings Corp.

-The Energy Information Administration releases its U.S. oil inventory report. 10:30 in Washington.

-The Republican National Committee holds its Presidential Trust Dinner in New York. Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Jeb Bush are expected to attend the fundraiser along with U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.

-ECONOMY: MBA U.S. mortgage applications (weekly), U.S. wholesale inventories (Oct.), Brazil IPCA inflation (Nov.), Mexico inflation (Nov.), Japan machinery orders (Oct.), South Africa CPI (Nov.), South Africa retail sales (Oct.), Estonia GDP (third quarter), Czech CPI (Nov.)

THURSDAY, DEC. 10

-Bank of England decision. The Monetary Policy Committee will probably leave its key interest rate at a record-low 0.5 percent. It will publish a statement with the decision and the voting record of the nine committee members. 12:00 in London (07:00 EST).

-Swiss National Bank’s quarterly policy assessment. The central bank’s deposit rate is at a record low of minus 0.75 percent. The SNB will also issue new growth and inflation forecasts and President Thomas Jordan will brief the press. Announcement at 09:30 CET in Bern (03:30 EST), with the press briefing at 10:00 CET.

-The MED-Mediterranean Dialogue begins in Rome. Participants in the three-day event may include U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Timings to be confirmed.

-Argentina’s new government under President-elect Mauricio Macri is due to take office with pledges to lift currency controls, cut agricultural export taxes and rebuild international reserves. Macri, who won the Nov. 22 runoff vote against ruling party candidate Daniel Scioli by a margin of 2.7 percentage points, will be sworn in at noon in Buenos Aires (10:00 EST).

-Germany’s Social Democratic Party begins a three-day party convention in Berlin with policy motions on Europe’s refugee crisis and the economy on the agenda. The SPD is Chancellor Angela Merkel’s junior coalition partner. Party chief Sigmar Gabriel gives the opening speech at 13:00 CET (07:00 EST). Through 12/12.

-The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries publishes its Monthly Oil Market Report, including the latest crude-production figures for members Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Timing to be determined in Vienna.

-Comcast Corp. shareholders will vote on whether to reclassify each share of the largest U.S. cable provider’s Class A Special Common Stock (Nasdaq: CMCSK) into one share of Class A Common Stock (Nasdaq: CMCSA). 08:30 in Philadelphia.

-A restructuring support agreement between Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, some of its bondholders and its fuel-line lenders expires today unless the parties extend it. The accord asks investors to take losses of about 15 percent in a debt exchange.

-ECB Governing Council member Erkki Liikanen speaks in Helsinki. 11:00 local time (04:00 EST).

-ECB Executive Board member Benoit Coeure speaks in Brussels. 12:30 CET (06:30 EST).

-ECB Governing Council member Jens Weidmann speaks at a conference in Lisbon. 18:00 local time (13:00 EST).

-Yum! Brands Inc., which recently agreed to split off its Chinese unit into a separate publicly traded company, holds an investor and analyst conference. 08:45 in Dallas (09:45 EST) with a simultaneous webcast.

-The Energy Information Administration releases its U.S. natural gas inventory report. 10:30 in Washington.

-ECONOMY: U.S. import price index (Nov.), U.S. initial jobless claims (weekly), U.S. Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index (weekly), U.S. household net worth (third quarter), U.S. budget statement (Nov.), Australian employment (Nov.), China new loans, money supply (Nov.) from Dec. 10-15, South Africa consumer confidence (fourth quarter), Turkey current account balance (Oct.), Turkey GDP (third quarter), Russia GDP (third quarter)

-CENTRAL BANKS: New Zealand rate decision, Peru rate decision, South Korea rate decision, Serbia rate decision

-EARNINGS: Adobe Systems Inc., Inditex SA

FRIDAY, DEC. 11

-Officials from the two Koreas will meet in North Korea’s border town of Gaeseong to discuss ways to improve ties. In August, negotiators reached an agreement involving concessions by both sides to defuse a military standoff that had taken tensions on the peninsula to their highest level in years.

-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe starts a three-day visit to India for talks with counterpart Narendra Modi that are likely to cover defense cooperation, investment and a potential high-speed railway deal. The visit will be Abe’s third to India as prime minister.

-U.S. Congress must pass a $1.1 trillion federal spending bill by the end of the day today, when the current stopgap funding measure expires, to keep the government operating.

-U.S. retail sales probably climbed in November by the most in four months, spurred in part by a pickup in motor vehicle purchases as cheaper gasoline and income gains give Americans more spending power entering the holiday-shopping season. The Commerce Department releases figures at 08:30 in Washington.

-U.S. consumer sentiment may have increased in December to a four-month high as Americans paid less at the gas pump, economists project the University of Michigan will report. 10:00 in Washington.

-The ECB announces the allotment of its targeted lending program. 11:15 CET in Frankfurt (05:15 EST).

-The International Energy Agency issues its monthly Oil Market Report with the latest forecasts for global oil supply and demand. 10:00 CET in Paris (04:00 EST).

-Ukraine’s government is due to report on the progress of the overhaul of its economy and state administration. Timings and agenda to be determined.

-Baker Hughes rig count for oil and gas rigs in the U.S. 13:00 EST.

-Sotheby’s holds a live online auction, “Return of the NIGO," offering Star Wars-related action figures and memorabilia that are estimated to sell for $233,200 to $368,700.

Star Wars cookie jars
Star Wars cookie jars
Source: Sotheby’s

-"The Big Short," the film based on Michael Lewis’s book about the collapse of the U.S. housing market and produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment and Regency Enterprises, opens in limited release nationwide.

-ECONOMY: U.S. producer-price index (Nov.), U.S. business inventories (Oct.), Italian industrial production (Oct.), Portugal CPI (Nov.), Romania CPI (Nov.), Russia trade (Oct.).

-CENTRAL BANKS: Russia interest rate decision, Colombia meeting minutes

SATURDAY, DEC. 12

-China’s industrial production may have picked up in November from a month earlier in a positive sign amid a deepening economic slump. The nation’s statistics bureau will also announce retail sales, urban fixed asset investment and home sales data for the month. 13:30 in Beijing (00:30 EST).

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