Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Week Ahead: Employment, international trade

This week is book-ended by major reports, with a selection of lesser yet interesting releases in between. Busy busy.

The Labor Department releases the March employment report at 8:30 a.m. Eastern on Friday, including the politically important unemployment rate that will dominate the headlines. Simultaneously,  the Commerce Department will announce the February international trade statistics.

The other bookend, on Monday at 10 a.m., is the Institute of Supply Management's manufacturing index, based on a wide-ranging survey of more than 300 manufacturers.

The employment announcement has the usual build-up: The payroll company ADP employment report on Wednesday at 8:15 a.m. and the Challenger, Gray & Christmas job-cut report -- tracking layoffs -- on Thursday at 7:30 a.m.

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 average hourly workweek in manufacturing, from the employment report, at 8:30 a.m. Friday.

Manufacturers' new orders for consumer goods and materials, from the factory orders report at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

Vendor performance -- also called the delivery times index -- from the ISM manufacturing survey 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 non-defense capital goods, from the factory orders report at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Other reports of interest:

Monday: Motor vehicle sales throug out the day, the Purchasing Managers manufacturing index just before 9 a.m. and construction spending at 10 a.m.

Wednesday: The Institute of Supply Management non-manufacturing index at 10 a.m. and petroleum inventories at 10:30 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.

Trading calendar

By my rules, I'm trading May options for short vertical spreads as well as July options for single calls and puts. Of course, shares are good at any time.

Good trading!

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