Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Week Ahead: Producer prices, retail sales

The producer price index and retail sales are the top reports of the week. Both will be released Friday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.

A third major event, release of minutes from the March 20 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee happens Wednesday at 2 p.m. There has been much speculation as to when the money-policy committee will ease up on its easing, so the minutes will be combed through finely in search of secret twitches and runes regarding the Fed's intentions.

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.

The index of consumer expectations from the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment report, at 9:55 a.m. Friday.

Other reports of interest:

Wednesday: Petroleum inventories at 10:30 a.m. and the Treasury budget, showing the federal deficit, at 2 p.m.

Thursday: Import and export prices at 8:30 a.m.

Friday: Business inventories at 10 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.

Analytical universe

This week I'll be analyzing new bull and bear signals among 2,212 stocks and exchange-traded funds that have a better-than-even chance of profit following breakouts in at least one direction from the 20-day price channel under the Turtle Trading rules.

The stocks are drawn from 9,212 symbols traded on the major U.S. exchanges. The probability of profit is calculated from Jan. 2, 2009, about the time that the broad markets began recovering from the post-recession crash.

Trading calendar

By my rules, I'm trading May options for short vertical  and butterfly spreads, iron condors and the short legs of covered calls and diagonals as well as July options for single calls and puts. Of course, shares are good at any time.

Good trading!

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