Monday, May 28, 2012

The Week Ahead: Jobs and GDP

This week's theme is jobs and GDP, which is another way of saying that this week is about everything that counts in assessing the broad course and impacts of the economy. All of that, jammed into a short four-day, week.

The gross domestic product will be released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern on Thursday. This is the preliminary version, the second look at the 1st quarter. The GDP is released three times for each quarter; each time, it is hoped, with increasing accuracy. And things can change with each release, so I pay attention.

The Labor Department's monthly report on employment is out at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, and as always it has a few sneak previews before it hits the newsroom.

The payroll company ADP releases its employment report at 8:15 a.m. and weekly jobless claims are out at 8:30 a.m., both on Thursday.

The online recruiting site (aka Monster Worldwide Inc. -- MWW) will announce its employment index sometime on Friday, at a time unspecified.

Jobs are a trailing economic indicator, as is the GDP. These reports tell us a lot about where we've been and very little about where we'll probably going. But they grab the headlines, and  by doing so, they change the universe they measure, as traders and shoppers react to the news and alter their behavior as a result of the new knowledge.

By reporting on the economy, these reports change the economy, and so to an extent render themselves irrelevant. This is the heart of the Bovee Uncertainy Principle.

And so I never trade based on these reports, but I watch the market and follow trends that result as others respond to the news. I don't try to predict impacts. I trade what's before my baby blues.

Other events of note:

Tuesday: S&P Case-Shiller home price index -- this is the one that breaks housing down by metro area -- at 9 a.m., consumer confidence from the Conference Board at 10 a.m. and the Dallas Fed's manufacturing survey of Texas at 10:30 a.m.

Wednesday: Pending home sales at 10 a.m. -- these homes that are contracted for but not yet closed.

Thursday: Chicago purchasing managers index, based on a survey of Chicagoland, at 9:45 a.m., and petroleum inventories at 11 a.m.

Friday: Personal income and outlays at 8:30 a.m. -- the all-important savings rate is derived from those numbers. Plus, the Institute of Supply Management's national manufacturing index and construction spending, both at 10 a.m.

Money-policy makers at the mic:

-- Federal Open Market Committee vice chairman William Dudley, President of the New York Fed, at 1 p.m. Wednesday and FOMC member and Cleveland Fed Pres. Sandra Pianalto at 8:30 a.m. Thursday

-- FOMC alternate and Boston Fed Pres. Eric Rosengren at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Practical trading:

By my rules, as of Tuesday I can trade September single options and straddles. The short legs of diagonal and calendar spreads expire in June, although it's a bit late to trade them, and new long positions of those spreads must expire in December or later. Of course, shares are good at any time.

Good trading!

No comments:

Post a Comment