Markets

Walmart and Nvidia earnings, Powell testimony: 3 things to watch for in the markets on Thursday

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Here are the most important things to know about Thursday before you hit the door.

1. Big-box retailer Walmart set to report

The world's largest retailer reports third quarter earnings before the bell on Thursday. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is expecting Walmart to report earnings per share of $1.06, compared to the $1.08 per share earned in the same quarter last year. The firm forecasts revenue of $127.961 billion, topping $124.89 billion in revenue a year ago.

Bank of America estimates 35% growth in Walmart's e-commerce business "supported by expansion of grocery pick-up and delivery," said Bank of America analyst Robert Ohmes in a note to clients. Bank of America and Cowen named Walmart and Target two of the top retail stocks heading into the holiday season. While it's set to be strong, Walmart will have a tough time clearing the 4.2% comp growth in Q4 of 2018, said Ohmes.

Shares of Walmart are up nearly 28% this year, while S&P 500 Retail ETF (XRT) is up 8% since January.

2. Gaming to boost Nvidia earnings?

Chipmaker Nvidia reports third quarter earnings after the bell on Thursday. Oppenheimer is expecting Nvidia to report earnings per share of $1.84, compared to the $1.33 per share earned in the same quarter last year.

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Nvidia, which is the leading supplier of graphic processing units (GPUs) for gaming, data centers and auto, should benefit from the "post-crypto rebound in core gaming" and the increased spending on data centers and cloud, said Oppenheimer analyst Rick Schafer in a note to clients.

Shares of Nvidia are up more than 33% in the past three months, while its rival Intel is up 23% and AMD is up 17% in the same time period.

3. Powell testimony day two

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell continues his second day of testimony on Capitol Hill on Thursday, this time before the House Budget Committee. Powell said monetary policy is likely to remain appropriate and the current economic outlook looks favorable on Wednesday before the Congressional Joint Economic Committee.

Powell also said that the "new normal" for the U.S. and the world is lower interest rates, lower inflation and probably lower growth. Powell didn't comment on a wealth tax or what more tax cuts would mean for the economy.

Major events (all times ET):

5:30 a.m. Fed Vice Chairman Randal Quarles

8:30 a.m. Jobless claims

8:30 a.m. PPI

8:30 a.m. Core PPI

9:00 a.m. New York Fed President John Williams

9:10 a.m. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans

9:10 a.m. Fed Vice Chairman Clarida

10:00 a.m. Powell before House Budget Committee

11:45 a.m. San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly

12:20 p.m. St. Louise Fed President James Bullard

1:00 p.m. Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan

Major earnings:

Walmart (before the bell)

Brookfield Asset Management (before the bell)

Viacom (before the bell)

Burberry (before the bell)

International Game Technology (before the bell)

Canopy Growth (after the bell)

Aurora Cannabis (after the bell)

Farfetch (after the bell)

Nvidia (after the bell)

Applied Materials (after the bell)

—with reporting from CNBC's Michael Bloom.