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This Week: AutoZone results, trade balance, nonfarm payrolls

December 3, 2018

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week:

A PROFITABLE ZONE

AutoZone serves up its latest quarterly report card Tuesday.

Wall Street analysts project that the auto part retailer’s fiscal first-quarter earnings and revenue increased versus a year earlier. That would match the company’s performance in the previous fiscal year, which ended in August.

OUT OF BALANCE

The nation’s trade gap has been growing amid a surge in imports as the U.S. and China wrangle over trade.

Record imports expanded the gap between what America buys and what it sells abroad for the fourth straight month in September. At the same time, the politically sensitive trade deficit in goods with China hit a new high. Did the trend continue in October? Find out Thursday, when the Commerce Department reports its latest figures.

Trade balance, monthly, billions of dollars, seasonally adjusted:

May -42.6

June -45.7

July -50.0

Aug. -53.3

Sept. -54.0

Oct. (est.) -54.9

Source: FactSet

IN A HIRING MOOD

Economists predict hiring in the U.S. slowed somewhat in November after surging the previous month.

They expect the Labor Department will report Friday that nonfarm employers added 200,000 jobs in November. That would be down from a robust 250,000 jobs in October. Healthy economic growth is spurring employers to hire at a rapid pace, helping whittle national unemployment to a five-decade low of 3.7 percent.

Nonfarm payrolls, monthly change, seasonally adjusted:

June 208,000

July 165,000

Aug. 286,000

Sept. 118,000

Oct. 250,000

Nov. (est.) 200,000

Source: FactSet

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