Long-time readers will know that I'm not usually a fan of unhedged predictions. The past is unalterable and the future unknowable, so my practice is to trade in the present.
Yet there's something about New Year's Day that just pushes the built-in human prophecy button.
My prediction for 2012 is that there will be a lot of apocalyptic chit-chat (and not just from Republicans bashing President Obama), because the Mayan calendar long-count ends its cycle on Dec. 21, causing the world to end.
So, Greetings! Happy New Year, and Farewell!
Yet we all have many trading opportunities between now and The End, so let's take a look at the first week of 2012.
Which, to no one's surprise, begins with a whimper. Monday, Jan. 2, is a market and bank holiday in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Japan, and practically everywhere else on Earth and in near space that honors the calendar of Julius Caesar as tweaked by Pope Gregory.
For traders, the year really begins on Tuesday, the third day of the year. In the United States, look for the Institute of Supply Management's manfacturing index at 10 a.m. to motivate trade, and near the end of the session, the minutes of the most recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting, at 2 p.m.
There are no major market motivators scheduled for release on Wednesday.
Thursday, weekly jobless claims provides a stirring overture to Friday's release of the monthly employment and unemployment statistics. Both are out at 8:30 a.m. on their respective days.
And that's the week to come.