Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Week Ahead: Factory orders, international trade

Twenty-five minutes before Super Bowl kick-off. I'll need to work fast.

And luckily, this week to come is as sparse in events as last week was crowded.

The economic schedule is sandwiched between factory orders on Monday at 10 a.m. Eastern and international trade on Friday at 8:30 a.m. There's not a lot of meat in between.

Leading indicators (in descending order of importance):

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.

Manufacturers' new orders for consumer goods from the factory orders report at 10 a.m. Monday.

The S&P 500 index, reported continually during market hours.

Average weekly initial jobless claims, at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

Manufacturers' new orders for nondefense capital goods from factory orders at 10 a.m. Friday.

Other reports of interest:

Tuesday: the Institute of Supply Management non-manufacturing index at 10 a.m.

Wednesday: Petroleum inventories at 10:30 a.m.

Thursday: Productivity and costs at 8:30 a.m.

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

Trading calendar

By my rules, as of Monday I'm using March options for the short vertical spreads, iron condors, and the short legs of calendar, diagonal and butterfly spreads and covered calls, and May options for single calls and putslong vertical spreads, iron condors and the long legs of calendar, diagonal and butterfly spreads. Of course, shares are good at any time.

Good trading!

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