The day ahead: Thursday


Wal-Mart sales numbers will hold the spotlight along with results from Walt Disney and Anheuser-Busch InBev.


*   Wal-Mart is expected to report higher third-quarter earnings, but Wall Street is focused on U.S. sales, which the retailer has stopped reporting on a monthly basis.

*  Walt Disney is expected to report earnings of 41 cents per share and further emphasize a recovery in advertising sales seen at the cable networks of competitors Time Warner and Viacom.

*  Anheuser-Busch InBev is braced to report a decline in consumption of its beers such as Budweiser, Stella Artois and Beck’s, weighing on profits in the first half.