Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Week Ahead: Inflation, housing, much more

Monday is Presidents' Day, a market and government holiday in the United States, a fact that has squeezed almost every econ report of interest into Wednesday and Thursday.

There are a lot of interesting reports, and surely a few will move prices:

The two inflation reports -- producer prices at 8:30 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday and consumer prices at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Two housing reports: Housing starts at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday and existing home sales at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

Federal Open Market Committee minutes from the Jan. 30 meeting, at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve  Bank's survey of  business conditions in the mid-Atlantic region, which gets a jump on the Institute of Supply Management's manufacturing index and the index of industrial production, at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Busy busy.

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.

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

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

Building permits for new private homes from the housing starts report at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

While not itself a leading indicator, the Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators will be released at 10 a.m. It is not itself considered to be a leading indicator because it, quite naturally, is released later than its leading components. I consider it to be a trailing leading indicator.

Other reports of interest:

Tuesday: The Home Builders' housing market index at 10 a.m.

Thursday: The Purchasing Managers' manufacturing index flash just before 9 a.m. and petroleum inventories at 11 a.m.

I also follow the Baltic dry index, released daily, tracking the volume of global maritime shipments of coal, iron ore, grain and other raw materials.


Two members of the Federal Open Market Committee have public appearances: St. Louis Fed Pres. James Bullard on Thursday and Fed Governor Jerome Powell on Friday.

An FOMC alternate, Dallas Fed Pres. Richard Fisher, makes an appearance on Thursday.

Trading calendar

By my rules, as of Tuesday 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.

Good trading!

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