There are five major reports, plus a money policy statement, that will make an interesting week filled with earnings announcements even more interesting.
Day by day:
Monday: Durable goods orders at 8:30 a.m. Eastern These are the big ticket items that cost enough to require confidence on the buyer's part that he or she won't need that money later for shelter and beans.
Wednesday: Gross domestic product at 8:30 a.m. This is the advance estimate, the government's first crack at getting it right for the 4th quarter of 2012 and also for the entire year. And at 2:15 p.m., the Federal Open Market Committee issues its announcement at the end of a two-day meeting.
Thursday: Personal income and outlays at 8:30 a.m. Some say the recovery has been so laggard because Americans, still in shock after the temporary collapse of capitalist finance, would rather sink their surplus earnings into savings. We shall truly be on the road to recovery, the theory goes, when people cease their ridiculous prudence about money and once again begin to shop till they drop. This report tracks what we're doing with our money. Subtract outlays from income to get savings.
Friday: Employment situation numbers and the headline-generating unemployment rate at 8:30 a.m. and the Institute of Supply Management manufacturing index at 10 a.m.
Look for the usual pre-jobs-report reports:
- Wednesday: The ADP employment report generated off of payroll figures at 8:15 a.m.
- Thursday: The Challenger job-cut report tracking layoffs at 7:30 a.m. and jobless claims and the employment cost index, both at 8:30 a.m.
The interest rate spread between 10-year Treasuries and the federal funds rate, reported continually during market hours.
The M2 money supply, at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
Vendor performance, also known as the deliveries times index, from the ISM manufacturing index Friday at 10 a.m.
The S&P 500 index, reported continually during market hours.
The average hourly workweek in manufacturing, from the employment report at 8:30 a.m. Friday.
Average weekly initial jobless claims, at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.
Index of consumer expectations from the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment report on Friday at 9:55 a.m.
Other reports of interest:
Monday: Pending home sales at 10 a.m., and the Dallas Fed's manufacturing survey of Texas (Hook 'em, 'Horns!) at 10:30 a.m.
Tuesday: The S&P Case-Shiller home price index, which tracks home prices in 20 metro areas. All real estate is local, so I find this report to be among the most interesting of the housing spectrum. Also out, the Conference Board consumer confidence index at 10 a.m.
Wednesday: Petroleum inventories at 10:30 a.m.
Thursday: The Chicago purchasing managers' index by the Institute of Supply Management, at 9:45 a.m.
Friday: Motor vehicle sales throughout the day, the Purchasing Managers manufacturing index a few minutes before 9 a.m., and construction spending at 10 a.m.
By my rules, as of Monday I'm using March options for the short vertical spreads and May options for single calls and puts and the long vertical spreads. Of course, shares are good at any time.