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Five Things to Watch: Target Earnings and More

Target reports quarterly numbers with Bill Ackman off its back, LinkedIn looks like the belle of the ball and now's your chance to own the Unabomber's hoodie. Here's what we're watching…

Target
Jae C. Hong
Target

No Longer Ackman's Target: A full seven major retailers are on the docket Wednesday: Staples , Target, Abercrombie & Fitch , BJ's Wholesale , Chico's, Limited Brands and Ross Stores . Target is the standout, wth shareholders hoping they've been able to manage the tricky math of rising input costs. You know who that doesn't include? Bill Ackman. Ending a lengthy and combative run as a major shareholder in the retailer, Pershing Square dissolved the whole of its 7.4 million share stake in Target in the first quarter. Analysts will be looking for 95 cents a share when the company reports.

Forecasting the Fed: At 2:00pm ET, the Fed releases the minutes of the April 26-27 FOMC meeting. While there are fewer unknowns than normal due to Chairman Bernanke's landmark press conference, there are plenty of questions surrounding upcoming policy. With the massive bond-buying campaign set to end, how will the currently sluggish markets respond? How and when will Bernanke tighten? When will the almost antique concept of a rate hike reenter the equation?

Harvesting Profits: How's the farm economy? We'll get a pretty good indication when Deere reports quarterly numbers Wednesday. Following last year's robust farming season, analysts expect strong demand for equipment upgrades… and with corn touching an all-time high in April, shares in Deere did the same. Since peaking at $99.80, the stock has corrected heading into the news. The consensus forecast calls for earnings per share of $2.06.

LinkedIn Gets Paid: Apparently, there's a lot of money in all those annoying emails that clog my inbox. Social network LinkedIn will price its public offering Wednesday, with the company set to raise a staggering $4 billion after raising its range Tuesday by 30% to $42-45 a share. LinkedIn will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LNKD, providing a first opportunity for investors eager to play big name social networks.

Criminal Auction: Wednesday's your chance to own the personal property of two of America's most notorious criminals: Bernie Madoff and the Unabomber. Following a lengthy court battle, U.S. Marshals will auction off Ted Kaczynski's personal effects with proceeds to compensate some of his victims. Among about 60 items up for sale: academic transcripts, typewriters, original versions of Kaczynski's manifesto… and (drumroll) the hoodie. Bernie Madoff's vast wine collection also goes on the auction block via web auction. According to some experts, there isn't much quality for such a large library. [enter joke]