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Things You Need to Know for the Week Ahead

Investors next week will be keeping tabs on iconic jeans company Levi Strauss & Co., when it is expected to go public. After it completes its initial public offering (IPO), shares of the company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “LEVI.” Proceeds will be used for “general corporate purposes,” typically working capital needs and perhaps an acquisition or some other strategic opportunity.

Brexit: U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May likely will be asking the European Union for an extension of the March 29 targeted exit date.  She’s expected to get an okay on her request, even though all 27 EU countries will have to approve the request. But her options are likely a very short delay or a long extension. The question is how much time will she ask for? She’ll still be working on getting her deal through Parliament before her meeting with EU leaders on Thursday. How well that goes would likely determine which time option she chooses.

Trade Wars: According to U.S. President Donald Trump, at the White House on Thursday, “We’ll have news on China, probably one way or the other, we’re going to know over the next three to four weeks.” That suggests the meeting between President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping gets pushed into the latter part of April. But the negotiations, while there’s been progress over a protracted negotiating period, still has some sticking points. The key one centers on intellectual property protection. And President Trump, who has insisted that any deal include IP protections, said earlier this week that he’s in no rush to complete a trade deal.

Retailers and vendors would probably differ, preferring to know for sure what they have to plan for and worry about. There currently is a hold on a planned tariff hike to 25 percent from 10 percent on $250 billion of Chinese imports. Not knowing if or when there could be a resolution makes its hard for companies to plan out their businesses for the rest of the year.

Looking ahead, keep an eye on India. President Trump earlier this month indicated an intention to end the favorable treatment enjoyed by India. The hotbed of concern for President Trump is again IP protection.

IPO: While The RealReal and Revolve are said to be contemplating an IPO, African e-commerce start-up Jumia this week actually filed paperwork indicating it plans to go public on the New York Stock Exchange. Levi Strauss & Co. last month filed to do the same, and now it’ll be the first one out of the gate next week. Levi is hoping to raise $587 million from its IPO.

Earnings: DSW, Guess, Nike and G-III are the companies expected to post earnings results next week.

Events: Starting on Thursday and running through the following Tuesday is Baselworld, the big show for the watch industry.

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