Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Week Ahead: Government plays catch up

Back at work, federal agencies play catch up this week on reports that weren't issued during the period when the Republicans in Congress cut off funding, shutting down much of the government.

One of the delayed reports, the employment situation statistics due out Oct. 4, will be released on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. New York time.

Other major reports scheduled for release during the week, on their normal schedules, are existing home sales on Monday at 10 a.m., new home sales on Thursday at 10 a.m. and durable goods orders on Friday at 8:30 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 delayed employment report, at 8:30 a.m. Monday.

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:

Monday: The delayed petroleum inventories report at 10:30 a.m. It was initially scheduled for release last week.

Wednesday: Import and export prices at 8:30 a.m., and the current petroleum inventories at 10:30 a.m.

Thursday: The Purchasing Managers' manufacturing index flash report, shortly before 9 a.m.


Chicago Fed Pres. Charles Evans, a member of the Federal Open Market Committee, is scheduled to speak on Monday.

Analytical universe

This week I shall be analyzing new bull and bear signals among 2,396 stocks and exchange-traded funds that have some analyst interest. They are traded both on the major U.S. exchanges and over-the-counter. My universe is selected from mid-cap stocks and larger, defined as market capitalization of $1 billion and greater.

Trading calendar

By my rules, I'm trading November options for the short legs of vertical, diagonal and calendar spreads and covered calls, and for all legs of butterfly spreads and iron condors. I'm trading January options for single calls and puts as well as straddles. Shares, of course, are good at any time.

Good trading!

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