Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Week Ahead: Jobs Week

As House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has said, and said again, and said some more, it's all about "jobs, jobs, jobs and jobs". Which proves that redundancy is no barrier to success in Congress.

Nor in the world of econ reporting, where this is jobs week, when every report remotely related to employment will be published. The week will also be a big one for leading economic indicators, with the release of factory orders and the ISM manufacturing index, both discussed below in the Leading Indicators section.

The big jobs report, the government's employment situation report, including the politically important unemployment rate, comes out Friday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. Also sometime that day, the job-matching site releases it's Monster employment index, no time given.

But on Thursday, the executive outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas will release its Challenger job-cut report on corporate layoffs, at 7:30 a.m. That will be followed by the government's weekly jobless claims report at 8:30 a.m.

And there's more. On Wednesday, the payroll services company Automated Data Processing Inc. issues its ADP employment report on private payroll employment, at 8:15 a.m.

In addition, surely we can expect Pres. Obama and Gov. Romney to say much about jobs, jobs, jobs and jobs during the first presidential debate on Wednesday at 9 p.m.

The debate will focus on domestic policy. Employment has been in the doldrums the past few months, making it a hot issue in the flow of campaign spin that we're all swimming through these days.

Leading indicators out this week:

The employment situation report's unemployment rate and job count are mainly considered to be trailing indicators. The report does include a leading indicator, however: Average hourly workweek in manufacturing. As noted above, it's out at 8:30 a.m. Friday.

Average weekly initial jobless claims, also mentioned above, is a leading indicator. It will be reported at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

Manufacturers' new orders for consumer goods and materials and manufacturers' new orders for non-defense capital goods will be found in the factory orders report, out at 10 a.m. Thursday.

 Vendor performance (delivery times index) is part of the Institute of Supply Management manufacturing index released Monday at 10 a.m.

Traders also keep track of these financial leading indicators: The M2 money supply, out Thursday at 4:30 p.m. from the Federal Reserve, and two reported continually during market hours: The S&P 500 index and the interest rate spread between 10-year Treasuries and the federal funds rate.

I also like to keep an eye on the Baltic dry index of world shipping, updated daily.

Other reports of interest:

Tuesday: Motor vehicle sales throughout the day.

Wednesday: The ISM non-manufacturing index at 10 a.m. and petroleum inventories at 10:30 a.m.

Thursday: The Federal Open Market Committee minutes from its Sept. 13 meeting, at 2 p.m. The minutes are generally a big deal only if they reveal hidden dissent.


Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke addresses the Economic Club of Indiana on Monday. His topic: "Five Questions about the Federal Reserve and Monetary Policy".

Trading calendar

By my rules, as of Monday I can trade November vertical spreads, as well as January single options and straddles. Of course, shares are good at any time.

Good trading!

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